The Case of Anna Laetitia Barbauld's "To Mr C[olerid]ge"

Lisa Vargo
University of Saskatchewan


           For many years Anna Laetitia Barbauld's tenuous place in literary history depended upon her link to Coleridge--her notorious complaint that the Rime of the Ancient Mariner "was improbable, and had no moral."  [1] Barbauld appears in the footnotes of countless anthologies; Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling explain how as "celebrated Bluestocking" her misguided insistence upon a moral inspired "Coleridge's most helpful comment on the poem." [2] As notions of the canon have become more inclusive, anthologists have moved Anna Barbauld from the footnotes to the table of contents. One of the most often anthologized of her poems, along with "Washing Day" and "The Rights of Woman," is "To Mr C[olerid]ge," which takes the poet to task for being drawn to "the maze of metaphysic lore." (l. 34) [3] The poem is no doubt a popular choice for the simple reason that it is about Coleridge; at the same time it confirms that Barbauld was a more intelligent reader of Coleridge than the Rime of the Ancient Mariner anecdote would suggest. Roger Lonsdale describes her poem's significance accordingly: "Her shrewd assessment of his gifts and temperament may explain his later condescending remarks about her." [4] Yet such interpretations place an emphasis on reception of the poem by Coleridge and by late twentieth-century readers. Barbauld could not have predicted her place in Coleridge's Table Talk when she wrote the poem. More needs to be said about what Anna Barbauld herself had in mind in writing "To Mr C[olerid]ge," which means considering the poem's contexts in the culture of Unitarianism.
          This is not to say that the matter of canonical inclusion is irrelevant in the case of "To Mr C[olerid]ge." If it was Coleridge's adoption of Unitarianism in 1794 that led to their acquaintance, his particular motive seems to have been Barbauld's renown as a writer. [5] When Coleridge and Barbauld met in August 1797 at the Bristol home of their mutual friend, the Unitarian minister John Prior Estlin, Coleridge was 25 and had published his first collection of poetry in April 1796, while at 54 Barbauld had long established her reputation with Poems (1773) and Hymns in Prose for Children (1781). [6] That Coleridge was eager to make Barbauld's acquaintance is suggested by the fact that he walked from Nether Stowey to Bristol solely for the purpose of meeting her. [7] And it seems that they continued to meet in London. In a letter written 1 March 1800 to Estlin, Coleridge adds as a postscript, "The more I see of Mrs Barbauld the more I admire her--that wonderful Propriety of Mind!--She has great acuteness, very great--yet how steadily she keeps it within the bounds of practical Reason. This I almost envy as well as admire--My own Subtleties too often lead me into strange (tho' God be praised) transient Out-of-the-way-nesses. Oft like a winged Spider, I am entangled in a new Spun web--but never fear for me, 'tis but the flutter of my wings--& off I am again!" [8]
          But by 1804 Coleridge forgot his regard for her propriety of mind when it came to the practicalities of the literary market. An unfavourable review of Charles Lamb's John Woodvil was wrongly rumoured to have been written by Barbauld. Coleridge explains in a letter to Robert Southey written 25 January 1804 that he has read the review and vows, "if I do not cut her to the Heart, and openly & with my name, never believe me again." [9] Southey's response seems to have initiated their childish punning on her name: "Why have you not made Lamb declare war upon Mrs Bare-bald? He should singe her flaxen wig with squibs, and tie crackers to her petticoats till she leapt about like a parched pea for very torture." [10] A notebook entry for July 1810 mentions "Wordsworth's enemies--especially that Mistress Bare and Bald." [11], Coleridge's antipathy reached a climax when he ridiculed the diction in the seventh stanza of Barbauld's "Hymn to Content" in his 27 January 1812 lecture on Milton. [12]
          Barbauld died in 1825, but Coleridge's dislike lived on. Her marriage, which ended with her husband's madness and suicide in 1808, is described with sexual derision by Coleridge in a comment reported by Henry Crabb Robinson: "Barbauld must have had a very warm constitution, for he had clasped an icicle in his arms, for forty years before he found it was cold." [13] In 1830 John Frere heard him say that her abusive review of Wallenstein had discouraged sales; Carl Woodring points out the review was by John Ferriar. [14] And it is in the Table Talk that Coleridge's comment about the moral of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is recorded without mention of Barbauld's name on 30 May 1830 and in the much cited account of 3l March 1832. [15]
          Coleridge's public ridicule of Barbauld was criticized as "unmanly" by his contemporaries who saw merit in what he mocked. [16] But neither regard nor derision guaranteed her work a posthumous existence. Though Barbauld wrote a number of kinds of verse, she was selectively represented in nineteenth-century anthologies as a religious and moral poet. Frederic Rowton's The Female Poets of Great Britain restricts itself to poems and hymns that display "the quick intuitive perception, the chaste tenderness, the delicate, musical flow of thought, that distinguish the female mind," while her satirical and political poems are unmentioned. [17] By the end of the century Barbauld's reputation rested on one poem, "Life," largely due to Henry Crabb Robinson's publication of a comment by Wordsworth who was said to have remarked, "I am not in the habit of grudging people their good things, but I wish I had written those lines." [18] An excerpt from "Life" ended the third book of Francis Palgrave's The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language (1861) and was also included in Arthur Quiller-Couch's Oxford Book of English Verse (1900). [19]
          If in the nineteenth century Barbauld's body of work was narrowed to a single poem Wordsworth wished he had written, her twentieth-century diminution to footnote means that Coleridge's antipathy is transformed by twentieth-century writers to unquestioned fact. In 1927 John Livingston Lowes glossed Coleridge's Table Talk story about Barbauld with this comment:
There is no mistaking the point of that. Coleridge may (he felt) have carried his premises too far for safety in a world of Mrs Barbaulds who yearn for a moral with their poetry, as they hanker after bread and butter with their tea. With the moral sentiment so patent in the poem they would be bound to put in their thumb and exultantly pull out their plum--as indeed they have. [20]
Lowes also calls attention to comments by Wordsworth and Godwin, as well as "a gloriously volcanic outburst of Charles Lamb's which sufficiently elucidates both Mrs Barbauld and her criticism" in damning the "cursed Barbauld Crew" for banishing the "old classics out of the nursery." [21] Lowes' view is repeated without question; for example, in James Boulder's 1969 explanation of the Rime's 1817 gloss: "In an age of literalists and simple moralists . . . he was content to give the kind of answer to the question of its meaning that a person of Mrs Barbauld's intelligence and viewpoint might understand." [22] What seems particularly unjust is how Barbauld is singled out with respect to the Rime when there are other offenders closer to Coleridge. In his influential 1946 essay on the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Robert Penn Warren quietly equates Barbauld's criticism with Wordsworth's, Southey's, and Lamb's opinions about the poem. [23] But it is Barbauld and not Wordsworth (whose own actions and comments with respect to the Rime had considerable influence on the poem's fate during Coleridge's lifetime) who becomes the representative misreader of Coleridge's subtleties. [24]
          This narrative of Barbauld's fall from favour can be read as an example of dispossession by masculinist priorities developed in response to the rise of women writers and readers in the late eighteenth century. And it is this retelling of literary history that inspires Barbauld's reentry into the canon. Yet anthologists at the end of the twentieth century are no less influenced by ideological projects. The editors of one recent anthology explain that "The rediscovery of forgotten women writers and of neglected working class and regional writers, together with a clearer recognition of the many ways in which all the literary works written in England between 1780 and 1830 responded to the political and social movements of the time, has led many scholars to question the sufficiency of traditional aesthetic definitions of 'Romanticism.'" [25] In fact "To C[olerid]ge" is presented as an act of questioning of aesthetic definitions by Barbauld herself. Roger Lonsdale claims, "Barbauld evokes the mysteries and dangers of an 'unearthly' Romanticism." [26] Duncan Wu suggests the poem "is distinguished by her early recognition of his talents and by her shrewd warning against the 'metaphysic lore' which preoccupied him in later years." [27] Such comments merely tell us about Coleridge, which further validates his importance. And in larger terms the recovery of the poem tells us something about our own desires to be inclusive. But it still needs to be asked what "To Mr C[olerid)ge" conveys about Anna Barbauld.
          What seems forgotten in the juxtaposition of the poem to Coleridge with a desire to imagine Romanticism anew is that "To Mr C[olerid]ge" is steeped in Unitarian debates about the role of writing in promoting social transformation. It is common knowledge that during the 1790s Coleridge was deeply involved with Unitarianism, serving from time to time as an unpaid preacher. He was particularly attracted to the writings of the chemist and philosopher Joseph Priestley, who taught at the Dissenting Academy at Warrington when Barbauld's father was tutor in divinity. Inspired by his contact with Cambridge Unitarian William Frend, Coleridge composed Religious Musings, A Desultory Poem, Written on the Christmas Eve of 1794 and published it in his Poems on Various Subjects (1796). An epic vision of more than four hundred lines modelled on Milton's blank verse, the poem is clearly indebted to Coleridge's reading of Priestley for its rejection of the trinity, its views of the Christian Millennium, and its necessitarian belief in the restoration of Paradise through science. [28] Priestley is invoked in the poem as "Patriot, and Saint, and Sage" driven from England into exile by "Statesmen blood-stained and priests idolatrous" (ll. 371-5). Religious Musings served Coleridge as an entree into Unitarian circles; John Estlin used lines from the poem as an epigraph to one of his published sermons. [29]
          As someone immersed in the intellectual world of the Warrington Academy, the praise of Priestley would not go unnoticed by Anna Barbauld, to whom Coleridge had sent a presentation copy of his Poems in 1796. [30] But neither would she ignore the poem's heterodox positions and abstruse thought. Her response to Coleridge's declaration at the end of his poem that he will "discipline my young and novice thought / In ministeries of heart-stirring song" (ll. 411-12) was to write a poem about discipline. That "To Mr C[olerid]ge" was written with Religious Musings in mind is indicated by its Miltonic blank verse and a series of echoes with Coleridge's poem. An aspect of her discipline is to create a vision on a smaller scale, yet one that does not diminish her authority to speak. If Coleridge writes a long poem in which he imagines himself "on Meditation's heaven-ward wing / Soaring aloft" (ll. 413-14), Barbauld's 43-line poem begins with a reference to a grove "Midway the hill of Science," a setting that invokes Priestley and Coleridge's own contention that "From Avarice thus, from Luxury and War / Sprang heavenly Science; and from Science Freedom" (ll. 224-5). As Coleridge invokes the elect who "patiently ascend / Treading beneath their feet all visible things" towards God's throne (ll. 50-1), Barbauld alludes to the language of the elect as she explains that the hill's paths "tire th' unpractised feet" (l. 2). It is the matter of practise that concerns Barbauld. Coleridge takes the role of prophet as he echoes Luke 2:13 at the beginning of his poem: "the rushing noise of wings / Transports my spirit to the favor'd fields" where in a "shepherd's guise" he can "mark entranc'd / The glory-streaming Vision throng the night" (ll. 4-8). A less exalted Coleridge later admits to a lack of vision in at least one respect--Priestley is "Patriot, and Saint, and Sage / Whom that my fleshly eye hath never seen / A childish pang of impotent regret / Hath thrill'd my heart" (ll. 372-5). Barbauld, on the other hand, can speak with the authority of long acquaintance with Priestley and his principles, which makes her question Coleridge's vision.
          The discipline she would convey is how easy it is to "lure the eager foot / Of youthful ardour to eternal chase" (ll. 5-6). Hence her focus on the midway point of the hill where she locates the "strange enchantment" (l. 4) of the grove. There shadows seem real, "while things of life" "Fade to the hue of shadows." Scruples, or intellectual puzzles, send out webby nets, and Indolence "wears the garb I Of deep philosophy." Yet in spite of its deceptive nature, Barbauld believes the grove is a necessary way station for those able to climb the hill:
                            Here each mind
Of finer mold, acute and delicate,
In its high progress to eternal truth
Rests for a space, in fairy bowers entranced;
And loves the softened light and tender gloom;
And, pampered with most unsubstantial food,
Looks down indignant on the grosser world,
And matter's cumbrous shapings. (ll. 25-32)
Discipline takes a gentle form as she creates a landscape of delightful imaginings which convey her admiration for the "mind / Of finer mold" who seeks truth. At the same time her sympathy is part of her rhetorical strategy.
          Having described the state of repose in general terms, the final ten lines of her poem suddenly shift to the particular, to the "Youth belov'd / Of Science--and of the Muse belov'd" (ll. 32-3). In addressing Coleridge directly Barbauld identifies his interests in Priestleyan science and in poetry, two subjects that matter a great deal to Barbauld herself. She provides Coleridge with the counsel of an experienced poet not to settle for the grove:
                            not here,
Not in the maze of metaphysic lore
Build thou thy place of resting; lightly tread
The dangerous ground, on noble aims intent;
And be this Circe of the studious cell
Enjoyed, but still subservient. (ll. 33-8)
The "maze of metaphysic lore" seems to represent her comment on Religious Musings and its more audacious flights of fancy. The locale resembles the spot halfway up a hill where Coleridge repeatedly situates himself in his poems, including "The Eolian Harp" (1795), and "France: An Ode" (1798). And, as McCarthy and Kraft note, the Hill of Science refers to the hill Difficulty in Pilgrim's Progress, where Christian finds an arbour and falls asleep and loses his scroll. [31] Surely an equation of Bunyan's narrative with the landscape of his own poetry would not be lost on Coleridge, who draws upon Bunyan in Religious Musings[32] Coleridge is being advised not to lose his purpose.
          But more than allude to Coleridge's work or that of Bunyan, Barbauld intends the grove on the hill of science to refer to her own body of writings. Her poem was written shortly after she composed a similar portrait of the poet in the introductory essay to her 1797 edition of Collins:
A real Poet must always appear indolent to the man of the world. The alacrity and method of business is not to be expected in his occupation. His mind works in silence, and exhausts itself with the various emotions which it cherishes, while to a common eye it appears fixed in stupid apathy. The Poet requires long intervals of ease and leisure; his imagination should be fed with novelty, and his ear soothed by praise. [33]
David Simpson quotes this passage as evidence that women writers in the 1790s defined literature in terms of practical reason and common sense and rejected theory. Certainly Simpson offers a cogent argument for locating the poem to Coleridge as a site of contestation by male and female writers over gender and genre. [34] If Simpson is right in arguing that the passage, which seeks to defend Collins against the charge of indolence, created anxiety in male writers because of its feminized character, it nevertheless accounts for why Barbauld entertains such sympathy for Coleridge's writing. Priestley criticized Barbauld's own contention that the seat of religion need be found "in the imagination and the passions" as containing "too much of the language of poetry and romance." [35] In a time when writing was becoming commodified, Barbauld believes that literature need be placed within a different economy than the marketplace. Hence she uses the language of commerce in the essay on Collins with an ironic touch. Yet this does not mean that writing need be divorced from social good. Her point with respect to Coleridge is that he is too ready to adopt as an end what she believes is at best a means.
          An extended meditation on the "high progress to eternal truth" (l. 27) exists in her allegory, "The Hill of Science, A Vision," collected in Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose (1773), which she co-authored with her brother. It is likely Coleridge knew the essay, whose image of "a dark and sluggish water, curled by no breeze, and enlivened by no murmur, till it falls into a dead sea" resembles the "sacred river" in "Kubla Khan." [36] The narrator in Barbauld's essay travels through an autumn landscape and has a dream vision of a mountain many people are trying to climb. While many attempt the ascent to the temple of Truth, some turn back while others are lost in the wood of error or are led astray by Appetites, Passions, and Pleasures or are delayed by Indolence. The dreamer focuses on the figure of Genius whose "progress was unequal, and interrupted by a thousand caprices": "I observed that the Muses beheld him with partiality; but Truth often frowned and turned aside her face." [37] While the dreamer in the essay believes happiness exists in being permitted to ascend the mountain, a divine figure suggests that "those whom Virtue conducts to the mansions of Content" are happier still. The essay presents a reminder of Barbauld's Dissenting belief that Virtue resides in the vale and is accessible to all. Genius must not lose touch with the powers of virtue from which all might benefit.
          Her statement about Genius is extended to Coleridge in her poem. Barbauld implies that Coleridge's commitment to egalitarian principles gets lost in his interest in metaphysics. That genius must relinquish leisure for the virtues of discipline in "its high progress to eternal truth" (l. 27) is made clear in the final lines of the poem:
                            Active scenes
Shall soon with healthful spirit brace thy mind,
And fair exertion, for bright fame sustained,
For friends, for country, chase each spleen-fed fog
That blots the wide creation--
Now Heaven conduct thee with a Parent's love! (ll. 39-43)
The reference to fog turns Coleridge's Miltonic metaphor of the elect as a shepherd creeping through fog who is suddenly touched by the sun back on the poet himself (ll. 94-104). Barbauld implies that Coleridge has lost sight of the public good, on which as a Unitarian and poet he should focus.
          The particular character of these active scenes and their relation to Britain are illuminated by her 1793 polemic "Sins of Government, Sins of the Nation," in which she advocates the adoption of a "national religion," defined as "the extending to those affairs in which we act in common, and as a body, that regard to religion, by which, when we act singly, we all profess to be guided." [38] She concludes the essay with a wish for gradual reform through benevolence, "political principles of practical utility," and religious principles "by which we may act and by which we may suffer," which are contrary to the visionary bravado of Coleridge's poem: "Whatever part we take in public affairs, much will undoubtedly happen which we could by no means foresee, and much which we shall not be able to justify; the only way, therefore, by which we can avoid deep remorse, is to act with simplicity and singleness of intention, and not to suffer ourselves to be warped, though by ever so little, from the path which honour and conscience approve." [39] However much she understands the need for imagination, Barbauld may have found reason to agree with John Thelwall that Religious Musings contains passages which are "the very acme of abstruse, metaphysical, mistical rant." [40]
          In spite of the certainty of her convictions, Barbauld did not rush the poem to Coleridge into print. For some eighteen months it remained a private document in the Estlin circle; a manuscript copy survives titled "Mrs Barbauld to Mr Coleridge," in Mrs Estlin's hand and dated September 1797. [41] The poem appeared in the April 1799 Monthly Magazine, whose literary editor from the time of its founding in 1796 until 1806 was Barbauld's brother John Aikin. Coleridge himself published in the Monthly Magazine; his letter of 6 January 1798 to Estlin announces that he plans to sell the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to the magazine. [42]
          Why Barbauld chose to publish the poem when she did can only be a matter of speculation, but some intriguing possibilities can be suggested. From 30 December 1797 to 16 January 1798 Coleridge carried on an intense correspondence with Estlin as to whether he should accept a position preaching at Shrewsbury or an unexpected annuity from Josiah Wedgwood. The circumstances are well known to Coleridge scholars, but it is worth dwelling on a comment he made after he decided in favour of the annuity:
To the cause of Religion I solemnly devote all my best faculties--and if I wish to acquire knowledge as a philosopher and fame as a poet, I pray for grace that I may continue to feel what I now seek, that my greatest reason for wishing the one & the other, is that I may be enabled by my knowledge to defend Religion ably, and by my reputation to draw attention to the defence of it.--I regard every experiment that Priestly made in Chemistry, as giving wings to his more sublime theological works. [43]
Some version of this comment might have reached Barbauld via the Estlins; compounded with what might have been her disappointment that Coleridge had overthrown the "fair exertion" of the Unitarian ministry, she seems to have felt that it was time to make her admonition public.
          More than serving as a corrective to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner comment, the contexts of "To Mr C[olerid]ge" call into question Coleridge's very reporting of Barbauld's criticisms of the Ancient Mariner, which may just as likely have been invented by Coleridge as actually having occurred. The ballad, like "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" and "Frost at Midnight," is informed by Unitarian principles of the presence of God in nature. And while these poems remained important to Coleridge throughout his life, when he rejected Unitarianism after 1805, he was eager to dissociate himself from his past beliefs. The Table Talk comments and his punning with bare and bald are part of his effort to distance himself from Unitarianism. If Coleridge carne to view Unitarianism as "a cold and dull moonshine," Unitarianism is bare and bald for him. [44] So when Barbauld suggests that the Rime doesn't have enough of a moral, Coleridge is recasting his 1800 comment to Estlin about her powers of reason in terms of his later statement, "We do not win heaven by logic." [45] Thomas McFarland observes that Coleridge "never seemed to be able to forgive Unitarianism for having led him so close to the perversion of his religious sensibilities." [46] Coleridge turns his praise of Barbauld's propriety of mind and practical reason to scorn so as to purge association with what he would forget.
          But it still remains to be answered why Barbauld's poem is worth reading now. In this respect the Unitarian contexts in themselves cannot provide good reason for rescuing the poem. After all, Coleridge's Religious Musings has suffered the same fate of obscurity as Barbauld's poetry, and there are few signs that its star will reascend. If Religious Musings hasn't been recovered, the appeal of "To Mr C[olerid]ge" need be found elsewhere. And yet as has already been suggested, to see Barbauld's poem merely as important for its subject or for its discussion of gender and genre is to undervalue its author's intentions. Two matters will be proposed. Certainly Barbauld's poem is important for the lessons it teaches us about the complexities of the contexts of works we would restore to the canon. More significantly, the poem has the power to show us how, as McCarthy and Kraft state, "Barbauld's religious verse suggests how her faith empowered her--not with the moral responsibility that Hannah More suggests was the central concern of woman's separate sphere, but instead with purpose, courage, and activity that is not gendered." [47] The poem might prompt us to question some of the assumptions about gender and writing that places it in so many anthologies.
          To ignore that "To Mr C[olerid]ge" has its origins in a debate about Unitarianism and to simply read the poem as a commentary on Coleridge himself means that the poem's present popularity in anthologies of the Romantic period can be said to perpetuate Coleridge's legacy with respect to Barbauld. To select as important a poem written in tribute to Coleridge constructs Barbauld in a role that undermines her own authority. [48] And to do so is to read Coleridge's fame back upon the poem. It is to undervalue Barbauld's own prominence as Unitarian dissenter, pacifist, wit, political radical, and poet. Harriet Kramer Linkin concludes a consideration of the "implications various new editions of Romantic poetry will have in making it feasible to teach a canon that includes, for the first time, the work of women poets" by suggesting that "the actual currency we assign women's poetry in our classrooms will depend on the terms of valuation we establish through our own continuing education." [49] It is unlikely that the currency of the canon could or even should become fixed, yet in understanding changes in value, we might recognize that our own continuing education involves not only the recovery of texts excluded from the canon, but an attempt to understand their contexts. Barbauld's poetry invites us to consider how through editing we might truly read Romanticism anew.



Notes

1. Table Talk ed. Carl Woodring (2 vols., Princeton, 1990) (hereafter Table Talk), ll. 272-3. The entire passage as presented by David Perkins: "Mrs Barbauld once told me that she admired the Ancient Mariner very much, but that there were two faults in it,--it was improbable, and had no moral. As for the probability, I owned that that might admit some question; but as to the want of a moral, I told her that in my own judgment the poem had too much; and that the only, or chief fault, if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader as a principle or cause of action in a work of pure imagination. It ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights' tale of the merchant's sitting down to eat dates by the side of a well and throwing the shells aside, and lo! a genie starts up and says he must kill the aforesaid merchant because one of the date shells had, it seems, put out the eye of the genie's son" (English Romantic Writers ed. David Perkins (2nd ed., Fort Worth, 1995), p.520).
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2. English Romantic Poetry and Prose (New York, 1973), 238n.
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3. Text quoted from The Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld ed. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft (Athens, Georgia and London, 1994) (hereafter McCarthy and Kraft).The poem appears in Jennifer Breen's Women Romantic Poets (London, 1992), Roger Lonsdale's Eighteenth-Century Women Poets (Oxford, 1990) (hereafter Lonsdale), Jerome McGann's New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse (Oxford, 1993), Andrew Ashfield's Romantic Women Poets: 1770-1838 (Manchester, 1995), Duncan Wu's Romanticism: An Anthology (Oxford, 1994) (hereafter Wu), and Anne K. Mellor and Richard E. Matlak's British Literature, 1780-1830 (Fort Worth, 1996). Other recent anthologies that include Barbauld's works: The Norton Anthology vol.2 (6th ed., New York, 1993), Robert W. Uphaus and Gretchen M. Foster's The Other Eighteenth Century (East Lansing, Michigan, 1991), and David Perkins's revised English Romantic Writers.
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4. Lonsdale 530n. The editors of Barbauld's poetry suggest the poem is an "admonition" against "self-destructive tendencies of his temperament," with which Coleridge agreed at the time. But they add, "His subsequent change of feeling and the sniping campaign he waged against her for the rest of his life do not seem to have been provoked by this poem" (McCarthy and Kraft 296n).
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5. W. Piper, "Coleridge and the Unitarian Consensus," The Coleridge Connection: Essays for Thomas McFarland ed. Richard Gravil and Molly Lefebure (London and New York, 1990) (hereafter Coleridge Connection), p.273.
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6. McCarthy and Kraft 296n.
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7. McCarthy and Kraft xxi.
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8. The Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ed. Earl Leslie Griggs (6 vols., Oxford, 1956-71) (hereafter Griggs), i. 578.
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9. Griggs ii. 1039.
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10. The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey ed. Charles Cuthbert Southey (6 vols., London, 1850), ii. 175.
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11. Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Vol.3. ed. Kathleen Coburn (London, 1973), 3965.
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12. Lectures 1808-19, On Literature ed. R. A. Foakes (2 vols., Princeton, 1987) (hereafter Foakes), i. 406-8.
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13. Table Talk i. 564-5. The comment was repeated to Robinson by Elton Hamond. Icicle seems to have been Coleridge's term of abuse for bluestockings. He refers to Hannah More in 1800 in a letter to Southey: "to hear a Thing, ugly & petticoated, ex-syllogize a God with cold-blooded Precision, & attempt to run Religion thro' the body with an Icicle--an Icicle from a Scotch Hog-trough--! I do not endure it!" (Griggs i.563).
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14. Table Talk i. 272n.
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15. Table Talk i. 149; i. 272-3.
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16. See Henry Crabb Robinson's letter to Mrs Clarkson included in Foakes 1.407-8.
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17. The Female Poets of Great Britain introduced by Marilyn L. Williamson (1853; rpt. Detroit, 1981), 243. The controversy surrounding her apocalyptic satire Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, which was savagely attacked by John Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review (McCarthy and Kraft 310n) is elliptically referred to by Rowton as "some unjust and unkind criticisms upon a poem published in 1812, led her to resolve upon retiring from the literary world" (243).
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18. McCarthy and Kraft 318n.
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19. Edith J. Morley, The Life and Times of Henry Crabb Robinson (London, 1935), 39-40.
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20. The Road to Xanadu (Boston, 1927), 302.
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21. The Road to Xanadu 302.
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22. Twentieth-Century Interpretations of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1969), 4.
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23. Twentieth-Century Interpretations of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" 45-6.
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24. Wordsworth's and Lamb's criticisms and a description of Wordsworth's treatment of the poem in the second volume of Lyrical Ballads may be found in the edition of the Lyrical Ballads ed. R. L. Brett and A. R. Jones (1963, rev. London, 1965), 273-8.
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25. Mellor and Matlak vii.
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26. Lonsdale xli.
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27. Wu 17.
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25. Piper 279-80. Quotations from Religious Musings are taken from Poetical Works ed. Ernest Hartley Coleridge (1912, rpt. Oxford, 1969).
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29. Piper 281.
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30. Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Early Visions (1989; rpt. Harmondsworth, 1990), 112.
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31. McCarthy and Kraft 297n.
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32. Ian Wylie, Young Coleridge and the Philosophers of Nature (Oxford, 1989), 99.
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33. The Poetical Works of Mr William Collins. With a Prefatory Essay, By Mrs Barbauld (London, 802), vii-viii.
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34. Romanticism, Nationalism, and the Revolt Against Theory (Chicago, 1993), 123.
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35. Betsy Rodgers, Georgian Chronicle: Mrs Barbauld and Her Family (London, 1958), 65.
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36. Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose (3rd ed., London, 1792), 36.
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37. Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose 32-3.
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38. The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld With a Memoir ed. Lucy Aikin (2 vols., London, 1825), ii.385-6.
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39. The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld With a Memoir ii. 411-12.
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40. Nicholas Roe, "Coleridge and John Thelwall: The Road to Nether Stowey," Coleridge Connection 69.
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41. McCarthy and Kraft 296n.
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42. Griggs 1.368.
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43. Griggs 1.372.
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44. Thomas McFarland, Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (Oxford, 1969), 182.
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45. McFarland 183.
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46. McFarland 183.
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47. McCarthy and Kraft xxv-xxvi.
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48. Similar readings with respect to Mary Wollstonecraft have been made about Barbauld's poem "The Rights of Women." See William McCarthy, "'We Hoped the Woman Was Going to Appear': Repression, Desire, and Gender in Anna Letitia Barbauld's Early Poems," Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices ed. Paula R. Feldman and Theresa M. Kelley (Hanover, NH, 1995), 113-37.
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49. "Taking Stock of the British Romantics Marketplace: Teaching New Canons through New Editions?" Nineteenth-Century Contexts l9 (1995): 111, 119.
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