17th out of 42 books — 21 voters
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Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets
This book is only part of De Quincey's prolific writings, which taken together form his autobiography. The frankness with which he wrote about Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge and their lives at Grasmere provoked a storm on publication.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 30th 1971 by Penguin Classics
(first published 1834)
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Nov 12, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lake Poet groupies
Recommended to Czarny by: Keith Lawson
This book is great treat for fans of de Quincey and his literary entourage: Southey, Coleridge, Grasmere and above all Wordworth. At some point all readers succumb to the guilty pleasure of wanting to hear gossip about their favourite readers and pretending that they are among the charmed inner circle of the author's friends who are doing the gossiping. In this way the book offers the same pleasures as Hemingway's Moveable Feast or Simone de Beauvoir's Mandarins.
Thomas De Quincey is that slightly mad relative you like having come to tea. His essays on the Lake Poets, Coleridge, Southey and Wordsworth are informative without being fawning. He is able to establish a distance from the leading lights and yet maintain an intimacy which comes across in a thousand small details.