Breaking Away: Coleridge in Scotland

Hardback
When Samuel Taylor Coleridge set out on a tour of Scotland with his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth in the summer of 1803, his wits were as sharp as ever but his health, professional career, marriage, and friendship with William and his sister Dorothy were in a deteriorating state. On the fifteenth day of their travels, the Wordsworths and Coleridge parted ways, ostensibly so that Coleridge could return home. Instead he pursued his own Scottish tour, finding pleasure in his solitude, speed, and endurance. This book draws on Coleridge's letters and notebooks to look at his travels with the Wordsworths from his own point of view and to record and photograph the journey he experienced after he parted from them. Carol Kyros Walker, editor of Dorothy Wordsworth's own Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, now retraces Coleridge's very different Scottish tour and recounts his adventures there. In a remarkable photographic and literary essay, she argues that Coleridge's speed (263 miles in eight days), energy, reflections, notes, and letters all betray a man of great talent who was breaking away-from the Wordsworths, from his wife, from his life in the Lake District, and from a dry phase of his writing career.