The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

In this 900th edition of the programme, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the best known and most influential of the poems of the Romantic movement. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in 1798 after discussions with his friend Wordsworth. He refined it for the rest of his life, and it came to define him, a foreshadowing of his opium-addicted, lonely wandering and deepening sense of guilt. The poem tells of a sailor compelled to tell and retell the story of a terrible voyage in his youth, this time as guests are heading to a wedding party, where he stoppeth one of three.

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  • Sir Jonathan Bate 16 episodes
    Professor of Environmental Humanities at Arizona State University
  • Tom Mole No other episodes
    Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Edinburgh
  • Rosemary Ashton 10 episodes
    Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at University College London

Reading list

  • The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Critical Biography
    Rosemary Ashton (John Wiley & Sons, 1996) Google Books →
  • Radical Wordsworth: The Poet who Changed the World
    Jonathan Bate (William Collins, 2020) Google Books →
  • Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: a Collection of Critical Essays
    James D. Boulger (ed.) (Prentice-Hall, 1969) Google Books →
  • Poems
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge (ed. John Beer) (Everyman's Library, 1991) Google Books →
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, with Illustrations by Gustave Dore
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Dover, 1970) Google Books →
  • Coleridge: Early Visions
    Richard Holmes (Harper Perennial, 2005) Google Books →
  • The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination
    John Livingston Lowes (Dyer Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Coleridge's Ancient Mariner
    J.C.C. Mays (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) Google Books →
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Seamus Perry (The British Library, 2003) Google Books →
  • 'The Many Men so Beautiful': Gustave Dore's Illustrations to 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'
    Grant F. Scott (Romanticism, vol. 16, 2010)
  • A Coleridge Companion: An Introduction to the Major Poems and the Biographia Literaria
    John Spencer Hill (Macmillan, 1984) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 821.7 (English poetry of the Romantic period)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the best known and most influential of the poems of the Romantic movement and one of the most loved.