Samuel Taylor Coleridge


1772

21 October: STC born at Ottery St. Mary's, Devonshire.

1781

Father dies.

1782-91

At Christ's Hospital (school). [See Lamb, "Christ's Hospital Five-and-Thirty years Ago."].

1789

Reads Bowles's Sonnets.

1790-91

Brother Luke and sister Ann die.

1791-94

At Cambridge.

1793

In love with Mary Evans; enlists in the 15th Dragoons.

1794

Returns to Cambridge; meets Robert Southey. Engaged to Sara Fricker. Meets Godwin. STC and Southey plan a "Pantisocracy," a radical egalitarian community originally conceived to live in eastern Pennsylvania, then Wales. Since the two men couldn't agree on a spot, the project was abandoned.

1795

Meets Wordsworth. Marries Sara Fricker.

1796

Poems on Various Subjects published. Son Hartley born. Moves family to Nether Stowey. First takes opium.

1796-97

Preaching at various Unitarian chapels.

1797

With Wordsworth at Nether Stowey. Begins The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

1798

Lyrical Ballads, with Wordsworth. Wedgewoods give Coleridge £150 annuity. Visits Germany with Wordsworth. Writes "Kubla Khan."

1799

Meets Sara Hutchinson. Tours the Lake District.

1799-1802

Writes political leaders for Morning Post.

1801

Health breaks down; opium again.

1802

"Dejection, an Ode." Daughter Sara born.

1803

Tours Scotland with W. & Dorothy Wordsworth.

1804

In Malta and Sicily. Private secretary to Alex. Ball, High Commissioner at Malta.

1805

Appointed Acting Public Secretary in Malta.

1806

Returns to England; Dorothy Wordsworth "shocked" at his condition.

1808

Separates from wife.

1809-10

The Friend, a journal.

1810

Quarrel with Wordsworth. Heavily addicted to opium.

1811

Josiah Wedgewood withdraws half STC's annuity.

1811-12

Lectures on Shakespeare. These are where he gained his reputation as a literary critic.

1812

Reconciled to Wordsworth.

1812-13

Lectures on Belles Lettres.

1814

In the care of Dr. Daniel for opium addiction. Lectures in Bristol. Turns from Unitarianism to Anglicanism.

1814-16

Financial difficulties.

1816

Settles at Highgate with Dr. James Gilman. Christabel and Kubla Khan.

1817

Biographia Literaria and Lay Sermons.

1819

More Lectures on Shakespeare.

1825

Aids to Reflection. Appointed Associate of the Royal Society of Literature, begins receiving £125 annuity.

1826-34

"Highgate Thursdays," a series of salons / lectures.

1828

Continental tour with Wordsworth.

1830

Constitution of Church and State.

1834

July 25: Dies

 

I have heard of reasons manifold
Why love must needs be blind,
But this the best of all I hold,-
His eyes are in his mind . . .

. . . What outward form and feature are
He guesseth but in part;
But what within is good and fair
he seeth with the heart.