© 2013

Coleridge and the Nature of Imagination

Evolution, Engagement with the World, and Poetry

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. David Ward
    Pages 1-4
  3. David Ward
    Pages 19-33
  4. David Ward
    Pages 34-51
  5. David Ward
    Pages 52-70
  6. David Ward
    Pages 71-129
  7. David Ward
    Pages 130-150
  8. David Ward
    Pages 151-207
  9. David Ward
    Pages 208-226
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 227-264

About this book


Examining a range of Coleridge's writings, this book uses recent scientific research to understand how we have evolved to make mental representations of the counterfactual, how such transformative essays in Imagination have enabled humans to survive, to prosper and to express themselves in the sciences, the arts and particularly in poetry.


Coleridge Imagination poetry Samuel Taylor Coleridge transformation

About the authors

David Ward, now retired, was a Lecturer in English at the Universities of Warwick and Dundee. He has also taught at the University of Natal, MacGill University and the University of Malaya. His publications include T S Eliot, Between Two Worlds (1973); Jonathan Swift: An Introductory Essay (1973); Chronicles of Darkness (1989), as well as articles in Essays in Criticism, Delta, The London Magazine, Modern Language Review and Shakespeare Quarterly.

Bibliographic information


“Coleridge and the Nature of Imagination contributes to a growing body of scholarship on the intersections of Romantic-era literature and science through an extended conversation between Coleridge’s theory of the imagination and present-day discussions about the nature of the mind. ... Coleridge and the Nature of Imagination advocates for literature as a vital counterpart to science in theorizing the relationship of human beings to the rest of the material world.” (Allison Dushane, The Coleridge Bulletin, Vol. 50, 2017)

'This is an engaging and persuasive study, accessible and useful to those familiar with Romantic literature. It will be particularly enjoyed by those with an interest in the history of the human mind.' - Jessica Roberts, The BARS Review