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Via the official Ottery St. Mary tourism page.

Graham Davidson, of The Friends of Coleridge – the largest literary circle in the world dedicated to the heritage to the person to which this blog was dedicated -more on them later 🙂 – what a sentence, said the demon of the parataxis – has asked me – to return to our main clause – to ask YOU about something:

So, there’s a book in the works that could, on many levels, deeply affect my own, and perhaps your approach to Coleridge’s life and times – a book on Mr C’s father, Reverend John Coleridge.

The problem is just, there doesn’t seem to be a market for it – in that, only a few hundred have pledged to buy the book upon release, and that complicates publication (we’re talking about a price of 75 £ for a 600-page  tome, no less).

So, Graham asks you to contact him under http://www.friendsofcoleridge.com/if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of this extremely small, extremely limited print run…

And now a few reasons as to why I think you should be interested!!!

  • First of, no, I am not affiliated with the Friends of Coleridge; I am a member, yeah, but I am not benefitting from anything they do, except that in my German cave, I read their bi-annual magazine with great interest. 🙂
  • No, I don’t get money, fame, or whatever the hell you might think I get from the book. 🙂

But now, where was I… Ah, the book itself!

The reasons that I have, well, I think I will need a whole second post to detail them. In sum, and to keep this post readable, and at least somewhat interesting, the one thing that waters down the research of Romantic poetry is the tendency to idealize the people that we talk about.

And that makes rational discourse about the writers of the 1800s oh so difficult to bear.

And how can this book help, you say? Or, how do I, without the usual banter, expect it to help?

Because a writer’s formation, his education, tell me whatever you want, but it begins with his parents. So, I wager, if we understand the parents better, that saves us zillions of utterly nonsensical critical literature of the kind that has the words “reflect” or “Bakhtinian” in the title.

So, I need this book, because I love to think of Coleridge as a genius, but would rather like to hear what children’s stories he was more likely to be told, or what books were in his parents meager bookshelf. Or, in general, to have a real idea who his parents were, not just a summary from a biography that gets lost in its own structure.

And, without all my usual banter, and in all seriousness, that’s why you need this book, too!

Go to http://www.friendsofcoleridge.com/, and send them a mail, if you like! This might be a nic coffee table book alone… Or it might be a milestone. I bet on the latter. 🙂

This book, it must be published!