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Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A new biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, shaped and structured around the story he himself tells in his most famous poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'.

Though the 'Mariner' was written in 1797 when Coleridge was only twenty-five, it was an astonishingly prescient poem. As Coleridge himself came to realise much later, this tale - of a journey that starts in high
Hardcover, 471 pages
Published February 9th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Doug Jackson
While there is certainly no dearth of books about the great Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Malcolm Guite adds several new layers of insight which fill a gap in the existing scholarship. First of all, Guite reads Coleridge's life through the lens of his best-known poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and reads the "Mariner" through the lens of Coleridge's life. He argues persuasively that Coleridge wrote the poem as a young man, lived it until he grew older, and continued to re-write ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I've got a bit of a soft-spot for Coleridge. Anyone who can yomp 263 miles over the highlands of Scotland in 8 days whilst struggling with an opiate addiction deserves serious respect.

Malcolm Guite does an excellent job in delineating the contours of Coleridge's life through the medium of his most famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - the story of which, Guite, sees as unconsciously prophesying the course of Coleridge's life. As a result we are taken far deeper into the poem than our
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book! A study of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner which is also a biography of the poet, an account of his struggles with life, the universe and everything (but especially his opium addiction), his survival, his genius, his return to Christian (and Church of England!) faith. Guite unfailingly sheds light on the poem and its creator, for whom this work of his youth proved to be prophetic of his whole life journey. In this bicentennial year of the poem's republication in 1817, this is ...more
Kirk Manton
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a full and compelling account of "The Ancient Mariner" and the dramatic and inspiring life of the author Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Poem, so prophetic of the author's life, so tragic and redemptive.

A true wake up call for our lives and culture today. And at the same time a comfort that we are not beyond the love of God and we are not alone in our struggles.

Thank you Malcolm
Jon M.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Malcolm Guite is a poet, literary critic, song-writer, and Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He has published five slim volumes of his own poems with Canterbury Press since late 2012 that, I am told by the publisher, have sold more than 16,000 copies, making him in fact a “best-seller” among poets.
Guite begins Mariner explaining how Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (which he curiously styles as a book title, in italics, rather than as a poem, between quote marks) provides “a
Peggy Drew
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Learned so much about Coleridge and his great poem ' The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner."
Guite's thesis is that the poem written by Coleridge in his 20's was prophetic about the course his own life would take. Each chapter was divided into the first half discussing a segment of the poem and the second half about the corresponding events in the poet's life over time. The description of Coleridge's struggle with opioid addiction was so sensitive and moving and insightful into an experience I don't
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember being a young teenager and having to tackle Coleridge’s Rime and absolutely hating it. Why did I hate it? Perhaps because I was too young for it

Coming to it some 60 years later with Malcolm Guite’s insightful comments, i was astounded by Coleridge’s imagination and vision

Moreover, I had inspired me to want to read more of STC’s works, as well as Wordsworth, and even his lifelong friend, Charles Lamb.

No exaggeration, Guite’s biography is one of the best books I have read. And
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is itself a work of art on par with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This book was my introduction to both Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his poetry. I liked it so much, I picked up more of Coleridge's work to read. I am grateful to Malcolm Guite for the wisdom and work he put into this book. I hope you will read it.
Ian Gilbert
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book, even if you have never read poetry, like myself! One of those books where you feel you have actually been on a journey by the end of reading it. Certain lines of the poem are given such great meaning once you realize what was going on Coleridges life at the time.
Sue Zelie
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read it in order to be able to more intelligently teach "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", but got so much more out of this deep reading of both the poem and of Coleridge's life and faith.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Malcolm Guite manages to weaves a narrative of the Ancient Mariner poem with a biography of its author.
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“One aspect of the Enlightenment which had huge implications for modernism was the divorce between reason and imagination and the consequent reduction of knowledge itself to a so-called ‘objective’ realm of quantifiable fact from which all value or meaning had been drained, which in turn led to a reductive, mechanistic and purely material account of the cosmos.” 0 likes
“After all his peregrinations, Coleridge, like his mariner, found haven and firm footing at last in the land of the Trinity.” 0 likes
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