A profound exploration of the human condition...Guite also draws out the continuing relevance of Coleridge's life and writing to our own time.
An illuminating close reading of the poem, relating it at every point to the subsequent course of Coleridge's life, he shows us why it remains so important for our culture.
Forcefully and convincingly argued.
In this remarkable book, using a very close reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner as an armature, Guite attempts to make good this lacuna and to use Coleridge's evolving religion - to build up a view of the poet's visionary life...excellent and richly compelling reading.
It is difficult to suppose that there could be a more imaginative or incisive reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; this is a visionary interpretation of a visionary poem
Malcolm Guite has established himself as one of the leading Christian poets of our time. This positions him to offer a distinctive reading of a poetic giant of the past, S. T. Coleridge. As expected, Mariner is exceptionally rich, penetrating and absorbing.
Malcolm Guite's new biography is ingeniously structured around the Mariner...Guite has an unerring eye for the memorable anecdote... He writes with passion about Coleridge's distinctive Christian theology. Coleridge was surely one of the inspirations for Sherlock Holmes. His life would make a great movie. I wonder who should be cast as Silas Tomkyn Comberbache?
The story of Coleridge's life does undoubtedly echo that of his poem. This is a book that provides rewarding rereadings of both.
There is much to praise in Mariner - not least that it is a 470-page book unapologetically devoted to interpreting, and celebrating, a single poem. That Guite neither sexes up his manuscript nor curbs his religious enthusiasm gives his interpretation an impressive dose of integrity.
This book -which is full of judiciously chosen quotations from Coleridge's mesmerising letters and notebooks- is a splendid celebration of the grizzled figure who 'stoppeth one of three' and the tragic artist who created him.
This is a superior life of Coleridge ... Guite has complete mastery of the primary and secondary literature [and] masterfully interweaves sections from the Mariner with episodes from Coleridge's unfolding life to both enhance our appreciation of Coleridge's poetic powers and to bring us up to speed on all that is known of his later life.