Postcard. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834
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62 ] Postcard. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-18341 Bradford, UK: Printed for the National Portrait Gallery, London, by B. Matthews Photo Printers, 1934. When five years old had read the Arabian Nights. Christ’s Hospital and Cambridge. Metaphysician and poet. His life was ill-regulated; weak, slothful, a voracious reader, he contracted an unhappy marriage and much later the habit of taking laudanum. Described his own character in his great Ode to Dejection (1802).2 The greatest English literary critic, he was also the greatest intellectual force of his time. Probably influenced Newman, Maurice, and the Young Tories;3 and died as the guest of Mr. Gillman of Highgate.4 T. S. Eliot. Notes 1. The photograph on the opposite side of the postcard is of the 1795 painting of Coleridge by Peter Vandyke. On 17 Mar 1934, TSE wrote to Sir Evan Charteris, chairman of the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery: “The information has reached me, indirectly, that you have a set of post-cards which is being delayed by my failure to produce a biography of Coleridge. I therefore enclose such a biography, which I hope will suit your purpose.” A copy of the postcard is in the Houghton Library. 2. See TSE’s Norton lecture on “Wordsworth and Coleridge,” his quotation from and discussion there of “Dejection: An Ode,” “which in its passionate self-revelation rises almost to the height of great poetry. . . . The lines strike my ear as one of the saddest confessions that I have ever read”; and the concluding sentence of his Norton lectures: “The sad ghost of Coleridge beckons to me from the shadows” (4.625-26, 692). 3. Newman and his disciple F. D. (Frederick Denison) Maurice (1805-72) were to some extent influenced by Coleridge: Newman indicated in “The Prospects of the Anglican Church” (1839) that Coleridge was involved in preparing the way for the Oxford Movement. Young England, a small faction within the Tory Party led by Benjamin Disraeli, included Frederick Faber, a disciple of Newman and an Oxford Movement follower who brought in such young Tory aristocrats as George Smythe and Lord John Manners. 4. In 1816, Coleridge took residence in the home of Dr. James Gillman (1782-1839), who treated him for depression and addiction as he finished the Biographia Literaria. Coleridge lived with the Gillman family until he died of heart failure in 1834. ...