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- Lyric Poetry & Drama
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson; Merry and Pippin; Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy...great duos often help to make great literature. So when two soon-to-be luminaries of the English Romantic movement came together to produce a book of their poems, the result was inevitable. 'Lyrical Ballads' by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a slow burner for readers, but grew to be lauded as a landmark piece of work, taking English writing in a new direction.
Wordsworth does most of the heavy lifting by contributing the majority of the poems, but Coleridge's efforts include the famous 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. The pair aimed to prick the bubble of what they felt was a snobbish approach to 18th century poetry. In 'Lyrical Ballads', they use everyday language, add the voices of the poor and focus on the original state of nature. The result is an accessible, original collection that remains fresh to this day.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was an English poet and a pioneer of the Romantic Age in English literature. His first collections, 'An Evening Walk' and 'Descriptive Sketches', were published in 1793. His career took off after he moved to the Lake District with his sister Dorothy. Wordsworth produced countless poems, often on the themes of death and grief, including the first version of his epic 'The Prelude'. He was Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was a founder of the Romantic Movement in English literature and one of the Lake Poets. He wrote literary criticism, including of William Shakespeare's work, and the major prose book 'Biographia Literaria'. His best-known works were the poems 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and 'Kubla Khan'.