By Jack Orchard
The Coleridge Conference is back – in time for the 250th anniversary of STC’s birth year, and in Somerset, where, in that annus mirabilis 1797-98, he was living alongside William and Dorothy Wordsworth, writing ‘The Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Frost at Midnight’, and welcoming as visitors John Thelwall, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb and Thomas Wedgwood.
Our venue, Kilve Court, is the Georgian country house with ‘broad and gilded vane’ that is mentioned in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’. Its wooded grounds are ideal for strolling between papers or after the conference dinner and bar. They nestle under the Quantock hills and near the ‘smooth shore, by the green sea’. Holford Combe and Alfoxden House are nearby, and we shall walk there in Coleridge’s footsteps.
As usual, we aim for intense but informal discussion – genial criticism indeed – whether in the lecture hall, the dining room, on the green lawns or in the The Hood Arms, the seventeenth-century inn just across the road.
Proposals are welcomed for 20 minute papers (the majority of which will be plenary) on all aspects of Coleridge and/or his circle, then and since. Some will be published in the 250th anniversary number …read more