The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. 16, Part 3: Poetical Works: Part 3. Plays (Two volume set)

    Edited by
  • J. C.C. Mays
  • Joyce Crick


Nov 4, 2001
5 x 8 in.
36 halftones
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Poetry in its many guises is at the center of Coleridge’s multifarious interests, and this long-awaited new edition of his complete poetical works marks the pinnacle of the Bollingen Collected Coleridge. The three parts of Volume 16 confirm and expand the sense of the Coleridge who has emerged over the past half-century, with implications for English Romantic writing as a whole. Setting new standards of comprehensiveness in the presentation of Romantic texts, they will interest historians and editorial theorists, as well as readers and students of poetry. They represent a work of truly monumental importance.

Coleridge’s plays form a vital part of his poetic achievement. This part covers all of them—twelve altogether, including collaborations, adaptations, and plays left unrevised or in note form. It considers his drama translations as well. Coleridge’s practical engagement with theater over a span of twenty years influenced his approach to other, lyric forms as well as, for example, his assessments of Shakespeare and of public taste. As in the first and second parts, all known manuscript, printed, and annotated versions have been collated to produce reading texts, and much new information, historical as well as textual, is presented in the commentary. The index covers proper names and prominent themes and features of all three parts.

The presentation of four plays is of particular interest. Coleridge’s translations of Schiller’s Piccolomini and Death of Wallenstein are accompanied by facing texts of the German originals (the first reconstructed by Joyce Crick, the second from a manuscript authorized by Schiller himself) so that, for the first time, Coleridge’s practice as translator can be properly assessed. Secondly, Remorse is presented in stage and printed-text versions; the former demonstrates how Coleridge’s play evolved in the course of the rehearsal process and during performance, how it was received and how it enjoyed an afterlife in contemporary theatres, whereas the printed-text version developed quite differently. This authoritative volume offers a revealing and comprehensive portrait of Coleridge’s work in the dramatic form.

Awards and Recognition

  • Honorable Mention for the 2001 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Multivolume Reference: Humanities, Association of American Publishers