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Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey   By: (1770-1853)

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In Joseph Cottle's captivating work, the reader is granted an intimate glimpse into the lives and minds of two prominent literary figures of the Romantic era, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey offers an extraordinary opportunity to not only learn about the personal and professional lives of these poets but also to witness the evolution of their creative genius.

Cottle, a close friend and confidante of Coleridge and Southey, presents a collection of letters, anecdotes, and conversations that span several years. As a witness to the unfolding events and conversations, Cottle provides an authentic and compelling account that is both enlightening and entertaining. The depth of his friendship with Coleridge and Southey is evident in the emotional resonance of his recollections, which allow readers to forge a connection with these celebrated poets on a more personal level.

One of the remarkable aspects of Cottle's work is his ability to trace the development of Coleridge and Southey's literary careers. From their early aspirations to their groundbreaking works such as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Thalaba the Destroyer," the book narrates the thoughts and struggles of these poets as they navigate the complexities of creativity and recognition. In doing so, Cottle elucidates the influences, inspirations, and conflicts that shaped their writing, revealing the multifaceted nature of their literary contributions.

Beyond the artistic journey, Cottle also delves into the poets' personal lives, shedding light on their relationships, friendships, and even their vulnerabilities. From the tumultuous relationships with their respective partners to their fascinating interactions with other literary luminaries of the time, Cottle paints a vivid picture of the social and intellectual milieu that inspired the Romantic movement. These glimpses into their personal lives add a layer of complexity to their public personas, humanizing these revered figures and allowing readers to appreciate their work from a more holistic perspective.

Moreover, the book is not limited to the narratives surrounding Coleridge and Southey alone; it also provides valuable insights into the broader literary and intellectual context of the time. Cottle's extensive network of friends and acquaintances, including luminaries such as William Wordsworth and Thomas De Quincey, offers a panoramic view of the Romantic era and its distinct literary ethos. This broader perspective enriches the reader's understanding of Coleridge and Southey's works as well as their impact on the cultural and intellectual landscape of their time.

Overall, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey by Joseph Cottle is an invaluable contribution to the study of English literature and the Romantic movement. Cottle's engaging prose, combined with his intimate knowledge of the poets, creates a captivating narrative that both educates and entertains. Through the lens of Cottle's memories, readers are transported into the world of Coleridge and Southey, witnessing their joys, struggles, and triumphs as they navigate the complexities of art and life.

First Page:

[Illustration: Portrait.]




It is with a solemnized feeling that I enter on these Reminiscences. Except one, I have survived all the associates of my earlier days. The young, with a long life in perspective, (if any life can be called long, in so brief an existence) are unable to realize the impressions of a man, nearer eighty than seventy, when the shadows of evening are gathering around, and, in a retrospective glance, the whole field of past vision appears, in all its complexities, like the indistinct tumults of a dream. The acute reasoner the fiery politician the eager polemic the emulous aspirant after fame; and many such have I known, where are they? and how mournful, if any one of them should be found, at last, to have directed his solicitudes, alone, to material objects; should have neglected to cultivate his own little plot of earth, more valuable than mines! and have sown no seeds for eternity. It is not a light motive which could have prompted me, when this world of "Eye and Ear" is fast receding, while grander scenes are opening, and so near! to call up almost long forgotten associations, and to dwell on the stirring, by gone occurrences that tend, in some measure, to interfere with that calm which is most desirable, and best accords with the feelings of one who holds life by such slender ties... Continue reading book >>

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