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?