Towards a Romantic Conception of Nature: Coleridge's Poetry up to 1803
A study in the history of ideas
This study describes in detail the development of Coleridge’s attitude to nature as it is reflected in his poetry. It analyses the different stages of Coleridge’s search for a meaningful relation to nature from an uncritical adoption of the eighteenth century conventions in his early poetry to a projectionist view in his poems of 1802. It offers challenging new readings of some of Coleridge’s major poems like ‘The Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Dejection: an Ode’, and tries to rehabilitate some minor ones, like ‘The Picture’. Attention is also paid to his relation with Wordsworth. It discusses in detail the philosophical background of Coleridge’s views and considers the contribution of German thought to his development. As a whole this study affords a new insight into the genesis of romanticism in England.