Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel

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Denounced upon its publication as obscene and incomprehensible, Coleridge’s unfinished poem “Christabel” today ranks among the most admired of his poems and stands as an important precursor to later poems of the erotic macabre by such writers as Poe, Christina Rossetti, and Baudelaire. Coleridge began writing “Christabel” around the same time as he wrote “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere”, which first appeared in the 1798

Lyrical Ballads

. Also dating from this period is “Kubla Khan”, which first appeared in print with “Christabel” in 1816, nearly twenty years after their inception, along with Coleridge’s nightmarish poetic record of his opium addiction, “The Pains of Sleep”, which dates from 1803. Each of these poems possesses mysterious, dream-like qualities…

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Citation: Robinson, Daniel. "Christabel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2011 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

6058 Christabel 3 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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