Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English lyrical poet, critic, and philosopher, whose Lyrical Ballads (1798), written with William Wordsworth, started the English Romantic movement. He was born in Ottery St Mary where his father was the vicar, and he was at school with Charles Lamb and Leigh Hunt, and spent two years at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, but his critical work, especially on Shakespeare was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He also suffered from poor physical health that may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these concerns with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.
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