With illustrations by Mervyn Peake & a new introduction by Marina Warner
Coleridge's celebrated poem was written at the suggestion of William Wordsworth in the early days of their friendship, and published for the first time in 1798. It is the story of a nightmare voyage to the South Pole told by the sole survivor, the bright-eyed ancient mariner whose wanton killing of an albatross, a bird of good omen, brought misfortune on the ship and all its crew.
Coleridge's own commentary on the fateful drama, written some years later at a time of renewed religious feeling, is printed alongside the poem. The poem is brilliantly illustrated with a sequence of specially commissioned drawings by Mervyn Peake. His powerful, arresting images perfectly express the qualities of the text, its gothic atmosphere and supernatural terrors, ultimately softened by pity and the hope of redemption.
About the Authors
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), one of the most imaginative poets of the English Romantic Movement, was also its most influential thinker and philosopher. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written early in his life, during a period of intense and impassioned creativity, and, like all his best work, has a visionary quality with strong religious and metaphysical overtones.
Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was born in China but moved to England at the age of eleven and studied at Eltham College, Kent, and at the Royal Academy Schools. His striking originality as an artist brought him renown as an illustrator of books such as Alice in Wonderland, The Hunting of the Snark and Treasure Island. He also wrote poetry and plays, but is best remembered as a writer for his Gormenghast trilogy of novels, Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone, an extravagant gothic fantasy that has become a modern classic.
"Astonishingly, the poem's spell doesn't seem to weaken over the years... The scenery remains thrillingly hellish, while laced with photographically realistic meteorological effects, and the narrative drive is irresistible" Guardian "Some of his [Coleridge's] poems are indisputably great, and the greatest is probably 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'" Daily Telegraph "The greatest sea poem in the language" -- Jonathan Raban "The Poem contains many delicate touches of passion, and indeed the passion is every where true to nature, a great number of the stanzas present beautiful images, and are expressed with unusual felicity of language; and the versification, though the metre is itself unfit for long poems, is harmonious and artfully varied, exhibiting the utmost powers of that metre, and every variety of which it is capable" -- William Wordsworth
Number Of Pages: 64
Published: 1st July 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 0.4
Weight (kg): 0.37