With a novelist's insight and eye for detail A. S. Byatt examines the relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge, against the background of the great changes of their times - in society, politics, education and literature. As she charts their personal lives, traces thegrowth of their ideas and shows how these are reflected in their work, we are presented with vivid pictures, not only of Wordsworth and Coleridge,but of their families, friends and contempories - Southey, de Quincey, Lamb, Hazlitt, Byron and Keats.
"Critically acute and full of imaginative insight... Her scholarship is up to date, and her comments on the social history of the period are cogent and erudite" * Times Literary Supplement * "She is the best kind of critic because she judges an author on his or her own terms... The great merit of Byatt's writing - fiction and essays - is that it continually engages the reader's mind" * Daily Telegraph * "A subtle and scholarly work" * Sunday Times *