Posted by Helen on August 18, 1997 at 06:32:42:
In reply to Emma Tennant's Elinor & Marianne posted by Barbara on August 17, 1997 at 17:25:23
] There were two things about the book I particularly dislike. The first is the idea of this utopian commune that Marianne and others want to set up, supposedly based on ideas of S. Coleridge. Does anyone know more about his theories or ideas?? The whole description of what they are trying to set up sounds exactly like a bunch of 19th c hippies.
That's because that's what they were - Coleridge and his little friend William Wordsworth were the first Romantic poets in England (the first official ones, anyway) and Coleridge really did dream of founding a commune (the idea was to set it up somewhere in America, I believe). It's all derived from various theories floating around Europe at the time - Rousseau, German philosophy, etc.etc. I don't know very much about it, but it should be accessible in some standard book about him. I do know that in the interests of setting up his commune, he went so far as to marry the sister (? or cousin) of one of his fellow poet/hippies, not because he was in love with her, but in a kind of community spirit. Unfortunately, he then quarrelled with her relation, the commune never happened, he was stuck in this marriage, and fell madly in love with one of Wordsworth's relations. It is very bizarre to think of all this happening while Jane Austen was writing, but they are exact contemporaries!
If you want proof of his hippy-like habits, just read his poem Kubla Khan - written in an opium-dream, and boy, does it show.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.