Hartley Coleridge image
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Born in September 19, 1796 / Died in January 6, 1849 / United Kingdom / English


Born September 19, 1796, at Kingsdown, Bristol, Hartley Coleridge was the oldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was the subject of one of his father's finest poems, "Frost at Midnight," and of Wordsworth's astute "To H. C. -- Six Years Old." After his parents separated, Hartley was brought up by Robert Southey at Keswick. At Oxford Hartley first felt keen disappointment at his failure to win the Newdigate Prize for best poem and in 1819 he lost an Oriel fellowship through eccentric, unseemly, and perhaps drunken behaviour and had little luck afterwards. He became a schoomaster at Ambleside, Cumbria, 1823-28, but the school failed. He published literary journalism in London as well as Biographia Borealis (1832), a biographical reference work, and Poems, songs and Sonnets (1833), which proved to be his most successful work. He retired to the life of a recluse at Grasmere and Rydal Water until his death on January 6, 1849. His grave lies in the southeast corner of Grasmere churchyard.

  • Durrant, Cherry. “Coleridge, (David) Hartley (1796-1849).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Griggs, Earl Leslie. Hartley Coleridge; his life and work (Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1971; PR 4468 G75 1971 Robarts Library)
  • Stephens, Fran Carlock. The Hartley Coleridge letters : a calendar and index (Austin: Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1978; Z 6616 C7S73)