Jan 27 1812: Coleridge's Last Lecture

On January 27, 1812, Coleridge completed his series of seventeen lectures on Shakespeare and Milton that he had begun on November 18, 1811. The lectures were presented by the London Philosophical Society in the Scot's Corporation Hall, Crane Court, Fleet Street. One could buy a single ticket to attend the lectures for two guineas or three guineas "with the privilege of introducing a lady".  Short hand notes were taken of the lectures and published in the Times, Morning Chronicle, Dublin Chronicle and in Crabb's Robinson's Diary. The lectures were a great success with many of the leading writers attending including Byron (in disguise), Robert Southey, William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb.
Richard Holmes in Coleridge: Darker Reflections (New York: Harper Colins, 2000) writes:
The lectures concluded with a number of such firework displays on poetry, cosmology and the character of Satan, the last (No. 17) on January 27, 1812. "They ended with eclat, wrote Crabb Robinson on leaving Fleet Street, with satisfaction and some relief. "The room was crowded; and the lecture had several passages more brilliant; they were luminous. And the light gave conscious pleasure to every person who knew that he could.. see the glory." 
As an aside, the lecture did have moments that were less sublime including Coleridge taking a swipe at another writer. At one point, he ridiculed the diction in the seventh stanza of the "Hymn to Content", a poem of  the poet, Anna Laetitia Barbauld. [1]  She is now best remembered for complaining that Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was, in her words, "improbable and had no moral." Some contemporaries found the criticism of Mrs. Barbauld to be "unmanly".

[1]  See article of Lisa Vargo "The Case of Anna Laetitia Barbauld's "To Mr C[olerid]ge" 

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