Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) was an English poet, literary critic, philosopher, and theologian remembered most for “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” With his friend William Wordsworth, he founded the Romantic movement in England, and his work was a major influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and American transcendentalism. Throughout his life, he suffered from anxiety and depression, conditions treated with laudanum, fostering a lifelong addiction. “Kubla Khan,” Coleridge claimed, was the result of an opium dream. He coined many familiar phrases, including the essential for story lovers, “suspension of disbelief.”

Portrait by Washington Allston, 1814, oil on canvas. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0, © National Portrait Gallery, London.

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