Poets

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was the youngest of 10 children. When his father, the Reverend John Coleridge, died in 1781, 9 year old Samuel was taken to London by a family friend and enrolled in Christ's Hospital, an orphanage and boarding school established to provide for the city's poorest children. Samuel didn't visit his family home in Devon until he was almost 17 years old. Samuel Coleridge went on to Cambridge University, courtesy of a scholarship and unusually for a Christ's Hospital alumnus, but left after 3 years without completing a degree. While living in Stowey, Somerset in 1797 for 2 years, Coleridge befriended William Wordsworth and the 2 became founders of Romanticism, an literary and intellectual movement which emphasised the individual and their experiences. In 1799 Coleridge and Wordsworth published the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of poems which includes one of Coleridge's best known poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge lived with Dr James Gillman from 1823, after he'd initially sought help from Dr Gillman with his opium addiction. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature the following year.