Samuel Taylor Coleridge biography

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poet, Author

1772 – 1834


Who was Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, 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, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence on Emerson, and American transcendentalism.

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.

Famous Quotes:

  • Ignorance seldom vaults into knowledge...
  • Exclusively of the abstract sciences, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms: and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.
  • People of humor are always in some degree people of genius.
  • My case is a species of madness, only that it is a derangement of the Volition, and not of the intellectual faculties.
  • Swans sing before they die -- t'were no bad thing did certain persons die before they sing.
  • All sympathy not consistent with acknowledged virtue is but disguised selfishness.
  • Our own heart, and not other men's opinion, forms our true honor.
  • The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.
  • Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.
  • Poor little Foal of an oppressed race! I love the languid patience of thy face.


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Oct 21, 1772
Ottery St Mary
  • Anglicanism
  • England
  • Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Christ's Hospital
  • University of Cambridge
Lived in
  • Highgate
  • Ottery St Mary
Jul 25, 1834

on July 23, 2013

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