They Asked For A Paper–Notes in Hartley Coleridge’s Poems

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

Poems by Hartley Coleridge With a Memoir of His Life by his Brother, 2 Vols. London: Edward Moxon, 1851.

These two volumes of the poems of Hartley Coleridge, the eldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and a biography written by Derwent Coleridge, the third child of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, also contain markings on many passages and several notes apparently written by an acquaintance of the Coleridges.

“Add – A copy of [Barnes] Works & Such we found in the kitchen of the Nab – with pencil annotations during summer of 1850 R. S. (ccxiv)

Mrs. Richardson told me in 1851 that Hartley often thought many of Wordsworth’s pieces “too [poetic]”. 1857. Was it so? (19)

No such thing as Annihilation in Nature! R. S. 1857. (59)

I had this once to translate into Latin at Rugby, but did not know then it was H. C.’s. (65)

I think this [Elizabeth] was the daughter of Sir R. Fleming I had the pleasure of dancing with at the [Sunblinde] Ball in summer of 1850. R. S. (98)

Mrs. Richardson spoke to me of this as very beautiful. H. C. had read it to her. (114)

Cf: Tennyson’s “In Memoriam,” Sonnet –

The volumes bear a bookplate of William John Robertson, a translator of French poems of the nineteenth century.

Who is this R. S. and how did he know the Coleridges?

2 thoughts on “They Asked For A Paper–Notes in Hartley Coleridge’s Poems

  1. This promises to be a very interesting series. Could R.S. be, by any chance, Robert Story, ‘the Conservative bard’? He was presented to the French Emperor Napoleon III as ‘the successor to Robert Burns’ in 1854, so that might explain the link to French poetry in your blog. His entry is in the ODNB.

    • The notes also indicate that this person was possibly a student at Rugby. I can’t find that Story was a student at Rugby.

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