Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth
In a chance meeting that would change the course of poetic history, Samuel Taylor Coleridge made the acquaintance of William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, in Somerset in 1795. The two became immediate friends. Upon meeting Wordsworth, Coleridge decided to move to Grasmere to be in close proximity to his fellow poet. During this time, Wordsworth and Coleridge greatly influenced, criticized and inspired eachother’s poetry. In 1798, the two poets joined together to publish the first edition of Lyrical Ballads, a collection of poems that is considered by many to be the definitive starting point of the Romantic Era. Over the course of their collaboration, the second edition followed suit in 1800. Their mutual friend Robert Southey, who was also a poet, worked with them and the trio became known at the “Lake Poets.” In this page, we will more deeply explore the relationship between these two Romantic poets and the people, like Southey, who shaped their lives and their poetry while they lived in Grasmere. Not only did Wordsworth and Coleridge have similar poetic interests, but the two developed a deep and lasting friendship that was able to withstand the trials of their drug addiction, bouts of depression and mutual artistic criticism.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Norton Anthology: English Literature 8th Edition
Picture courtesy of the Wordsworth Trust and www.VisitCumbria.com: Dove Cottage, located in Grasemere, was home to William and Dorothy Wordsworth between the years of 1799 and 1808.