Document Type




Format of Original

4 p.

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

European Romantic Review

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1080/10509580600968099


Few students of Coleridge know the dark, mysterious poetry of the later years better than Eric Wilson. And even fewer have a stronger command of the scholarship on this poetry. Understandably, the work of the pre-1800 years, especially the great trio of the imaginative and the supernatural—The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan—and the earlier conversation poems, have received major critical attention. Yet although these poems bring to the fore the troubling presence of Sara in “Eolian Harp” and the distressing violations of the Mariner and of the innocent Christabel by the serpent-woman Geraldine, they nevertheless celebrate ultimately the power of mind, of imagination to create a harmony in the midst of diversity, to achieve a sympathetic oneness with the beauty of nature. They conclude with moments of blessing and redemption far different from the conclusions of the later poems. And Wilson has a keen ear for these moments.


Accepted version. European Romantic Review, Vol. 17, No. 4 (2006): 508-511. DOI. © 2006 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Used with permission.