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Module 1: Introduction to Samuel Coleridge

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English - The Early Years

The Early Years

Coleridge in 1795. Painting by Peter Van Dyke. National Portrait Gallery,
London

Samuel Taylor Coleridge is one of the greatest of the English Romantic
poets. He was born on 21 October 1772 in Devonshire, the ninth and youngest
son of Rev John Coleridge and Anne Bowden. His father died when he was
eight and in July 1782, he entered Christ's Hospital school in London and
became an outstanding classical scholar, though he was lonely and homesick
in the city.

Coleridge entered Jesus College, Cambridge, but left without taking a
degree. It was at Cambridge that he became interested in utopian and
revolutionary politics. After 1794, along with Robert Southey, he drew up
plans for a utopian society to be in America, known as "Pantisocracy". The
scheme collapsed, but through it he met, and married, Sarah Fricker, a
marriage that was at first happy, but was to prove a complete failure.

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