The Lost Boy: Hartley Coleridge as a Symbol of Romantic Division

Halsall, Martyn (2009) The Lost Boy: Hartley Coleridge as a Symbol of Romantic Division. In: Research FEST 2009, July 2009, University of Cumbria.

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This paper would examine how the young Hartley Coleridge was perceived by two of the founding fathers of early English Romantic poetry, his father Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Coleridge’s close friend, William Wordsworth.

These contrasting perceptions emerge from two poems: Coleridge’s conversation poem ‘Frost at Midnight’ and Wordsworth’s ‘To HC Six Years Old’.

They illustrate, respectively, idealised optimism about the nature of Hartley’s education and destiny, and, some six years later, a foreboding that the father’s weaknesses would be revisited in his child.

This can be explored further with reference to another conversation poem, ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’, as a parallel example of Coleridge’s ability to project his emotions onto others, and his inability to recognise the limitations of this process.

This paper would argue that radical differences in perception, as illustrated by these poems about Hartley, also illustrate the ‘division’ between Coleridge and Wordsworth that eroded their creative friendship.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Departments: Pre June 2020 Academic Departments and Services > Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2010 15:58
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 19:15


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