What do the portraits of a great poet tell us about his life, his image of himself, and the ideas of him held by his friends and his public? Portraits of Coleridge attempts to answer this question with respect to the author of `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and `Kubla Khan'. It also provides a critical and scholarly study of the portraits as works of art, considering the place of each in the career of the artist who produced it. All the life portraits
are discussed in detail, catalogued, and (wherever there is an extant photograph) reproduced. As many verbal descriptions by contemporaries as possible are reprinted for the sake of comparison. A concluding essay on posthumous portraits of Coleridge considers how they reflect changes in the public's attitude
toward their subject. Both a contribution to the biography of Coleridge and an essay in the history of literary and artistic taste, this book is for readers interested in English poetry, in Romantic portraiture, and in the relationship between literature and the visual arts.
`Morton Paley's original and absorbing study sets out to prove that the twenty-four portraits of Coleridge painted during his lifetime constitute more than a visible biography of the poet ... quirky and fascinating study.'
List of Illustrations
A Coleridge Chronology
Introduction: The Image of the Romantic Poet
The Life Portraits of Coleridge
After-Images: Posthumous Portraits of Coleridge
Supplementary Notes: missing or Non-Existent Portraits