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The Ruined Man: Coleridge’s Posthumous Reputation

  • Philip Aherne
Chapter

Abstract

Aherne provides an assessment of how Coleridge’s posthumous reputation disabled and enabled his influence. The chapter discusses how authoritative voices such as Thomas Carlyle, William Hazlitt, and Leslie Stephen, among others, criticized Coleridge; their accounts, whilst not essentially inaccurate, were unbalanced: they bolstered their respective prejudices with information about Coleridge’s domestic life and personal history, and they argued against Coleridge being a significant intellectual and cultural figure, thus undermining the validity of his influence. However, Coleridge’s family and supporters responded by renovating his published works in a bid to stabilize his achievement. Lastly, a counter-tradition of Coleridgean supporters arose in defence of him, and the fate of Coleridge’s negative reputation is explored through a consideration of poetic accounts and literary assessments.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Aherne
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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