Review of Coleridge's Christabel; Kubla Khan, a Vision; The Pains of Sleep from The Examiner


The Examiner was an uncompromising journal edited by Leigh Hunt, a close friend of John Keats and Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The journal began in 1808 and lasted to 1821, and included literary criticism and politics. The journal reflected Hunt’s reformist opinions and his sympathy for Irish independence and Catholic emancipation, to the extent that the government made a number of attempts to prosecute and silence the paper. 

This review of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel; Kubla Khan, A Vision; The Pains of Sleep concentrates almost entirely on ‘Christabel’. Of ‘Kubla Khan’ little is said other than that it is unfinished, and the reviewer is very critical of ‘Christabel’, which he describes as ‘toothless’. There are worthy aspects noted – ‘a great deal of beauty both of thought, imagery and versification’ – but overall ‘the effect of the story is dim. Obscure and visionary’, and the printed poem suffers from the omission of meaningful parts which were already known from manuscript versions of the poem in circulation.

Full title:
'Literary Notices'
2 June 1816, London
Newspaper / Ephemera
The Examiner
© Sourced from the British Newspaper Archive
Held by
British Library
1808-1881 LON LD63 NPL

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