The Wordsworth Lecture: Richard Holmes and Seamus Perry on Coleridge at 250

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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One of the most fascinating figures in English literature.

This event has unfortunately been postponed until 2023. Existing ticket holders will be contacted.

It is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834). Although he hated birthdays and often got the date wrong, it is the ideal moment to look back at the astonishing range of his work and strange shifts in his reputation ever since. 

Always remembered as the opium poet of ‘Kubla Khan’ and ‘The Ancient Mariner’, Coleridge was also the passionate friend and walking companion of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, a nature writer of gleaming observation, a great public lecturer both on utopian politics and on Shakespeare’s plays, a brilliant philosopher and interpreter of European Romanticism, and a psychological master of the confessional Notebook in a quite modern way.

Coleridgean enthusiasts Richard Holmes and Seamus Perry chaired by Drummond Bone, explore Coleridge’s extraordinary gifts, as well as his many fragilities, and show why he is a more significant figure for us today than ever before.

The Wordsworth Trust Annual Public Lecture 2022

Richard Holmes is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. His landmark books include Footsteps (1975) and two biographies: Coleridge: Early Visions (1985) and Coleridge: Darker Reflections (1998); and a study of poets and scientists working together in the Romantic period, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (2009) which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

Seamus Perry is a Fellow of Balliol College and a Professor in the Faculty of English at Oxford University. Among his publications are editions of Coleridge's Notebooks and literary criticism; Coleridge and the Uses of Division, a study of his thought; and the Coleridge volume in the British Library's Writers' Lives series.

Drummond Bone is Chair of Trustees at the Wordsworth Trust and Chair of the National Library of Scotland. He was Master of Balliol College, Oxford until April 2018, and is a former Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and Principal of Royal Holloway College, University of London. He is also a Senior Advisory Editor of the journal Romanticism, author of Byron (Writers and their Work), and Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Byron.

Image detail of Samuel Taylor Coleridge by James Northcote 1804, Copyright The Wordsworth Trust.

In association with Worsworth Grasmere

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Name: The Wordsworth Lecture: Richard Holmes and Seamus Perry on Coleridge at 250
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Full Price: £11.00
Member: £11.00
Student: £5.50
Registered Unemployed: £5.50
Disabled: £5.50
Senior (60+): £9.50
Young Person (18-25): £5.50
Online Full Price: £5.00
Online Member: £5.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546