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Palgrave Macmillan

Coleridge and the Nature of Imagination

Evolution, Engagement with the World, and Poetry

ISBN 9781137362612
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Long ago I A Richards remarked that if we are to understand the Imagination, we have to understand how the brain works. Scientists have begun to approach this deep and complex problem in ways that we can not ignore. Coleridge's ideas on the subject belong to another age, but he had the knack of raising questions and performing thought experiments which are still relevant. This book explores the questions and discoveries raised both by Coleridge and by recent scientific research in order to offer fresh and original approaches to the reading of poetry and in particular the reading of Coleridge's major poems, The Ancyent Marinere, Kubla Khan and Christabel. This book offers an interpretation of the role of Imagination in the development of the human consciousness and the vital role poetry plays in our engagement with the world.

David Ward, now retired, was a Lecturer in English at the Universities of Warwick and Dundee. He has also taught at the University of Natal, MacGill University and the University of Malaya. His publications include T S Eliot, Between Two Worlds (1973); Jonathan Swift: An Introductory Essay (1973); Chronicles of Darkness (1989), as well as articles in Essays in Criticism, Delta, The London Magazine, Modern Language Review and Shakespeare Quarterly.


1. Feeling, Reason, Thought and Language
2. 'Something One and Indivisible'
3. 'The Greenland Wizard'
4. 'The Whole Soul of Man'
5. The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere
6. Kubla Khan
7. Christabel
8. Conclusion: Transformation and Evolution


'This is an engaging and persuasive study, accessible and useful to those familiar with Romantic literature. It will be particularly enjoyed by those with an interest in the history of the human mind.' - Jessica Roberts, The BARS Review
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