Adam Nicolson has written a story fully worthy of its famous protagonists.
In June 1797, William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy rented a house for a year near Bristol in western England. After they had arrived at Alfoxton House, Samuel Taylor Coleridge found his way there (via a walking tour) for a visit. The visit would last a year; Coleridge rented a place nearby for himself and his family. The Wordsworths and Coleridge spent an enormous amount of time together, talking, inventing new poetic projects, and taking long walks through the Quantock Hills.
What came out of that year was some of the most significant poetry in the English language: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Christabel,” “Kubla Khan,” “Lyrical Ballads,” and “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.” Yet much more happened than the writing of great poems, astounding as they were (and are). The two poets emerged from that period with an understanding of themselves and of poetry as a vital force in life. By the fall of 1798, both Wordsworth and Coleridge would be set upon the courses that made them both famous.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.