We are really excited to present this new publication, Private Lives of the Ancient Mariner, and in this post you can find some information about the author and her character, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture.
Throughout his adult life, Coleridge suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated by some that he suffered from bipolar disorder, a condition not identified during his lifetime. Coleridge suffered from poor health that may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these concerns with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.
In her last work, Private Lives of the Ancient Mariner, Molly Lefebure examines Coleridge both as a poet and as a man. She provides profound psychological insights into Coleridge through a meticulous study of his domestic life, drawing upon a vast and unique body of knowledge gained from a lifetime’s study of the poet, and making skilful use of the letters, poems and biographies of the man himself and his family and friends.
Molly Lefebure unravels the enigma that is Coleridge with consummate skill in a book that will bring huge enjoyment to any reader with an interest in the poet’s life and times.
“[Molly Lefebure’s] insight into Coleridge’s marriage is second to none. Her perception of him as a man and a poet is intellectually formidable. She can be both critical and understanding on the same page. There is a full field of Coleridge scholars at the moment, but in my view Molly was in there first, and is still the outstanding one.”
Lord Melvyn Bragg