Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Seamus Perry (University of Oxford)
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772, the youngest of ten children, in Ottery St. Mary in Devon. Coleridge would recall his father, the Reverend John Coleridge, as a scholarly, saintly, comically distracted figure; but he was evidently a person of some determination too, having risen from an unpromising background to become vicar of St Mary's, a handsome and substantial church, and Headmaster of the Grammar School. Coleridge's mother, Ann Bowdon, came of a farming family from Exmoor. Young Sam (he grew to hate his name) was dreamy, solitary and precociously bookish, absorbed especially by the

Arabian Nights

, which he devoured at the age of six. (He was to claim that this “early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii” worked an important effect on his philosophical temperament,…

3547 words

Citation: Perry, Seamus. "Samuel Taylor Coleridge". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001 [, accessed 23 February 2024.]

949 Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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