Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Biographia Literaria (2718 words)


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Biographia Literaria, like many works of the romantic period, frustrates attempts at generic classification. A two-volume prose work of considerable intellectual range and ambition, it combines Coleridge’s ideas on theology, philosophy, literary theory, the nature of the imagination and poetic genius with practical criticism and personal reminiscence. Written between April and September 1815, it marks a difficult period in Coleridge’s life, as he struggled to overcome his addiction to opium and bouts of suicidal depression. This turmoil partially explains the digressive and patchwork topography of Biographia, the composition of which began as a form of literary convalescence (Coleridge dictated much of it to his friend …

Citation: Milnes, Tim. "Biographia Literaria". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 September 2011 [, accessed 24 June 2021.]

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