Robert M. Adams

Robert M. Adams most recent books are Decadent Societies and The Land and Literature of England, published by Norton in America.

A Pride of Footnotes

Robert M. Adams, 17 November 1983

The majestic new Bollingen edition of Coleridge’s collected works edges, with the Biographia Literaria edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate, a bit past its halfway point. Nine of the projected 16 volumes are now in print. In addition, three of the projected five volumes of the private Notebooks have appeared. (They are a separate Bollingen project, though Kathleen Coburn is in command of both.) Because Coleridge left a most untidy record of published, semi-published and unpublished writings, recovery of his occasional and periodical journalism, plus the enormous mass of his fascinating notebooks, his profuse marginalia, and the recent edition of his collected letters in six volumes, has been a more exciting process than for most writers of his vintage it generally is. When the two great Bollingen enterprises will have been added to Professor Grigg’s monumental edition of the letters, we shall have the makings of an entire, substantially new Coleridge, whose position among the extraordinary minds of an extraordinary age will be more firmly established than ever.

Life in Thomas More’s Utopia, like many others inspired by it, isn’t much fun. As Ralph Robinson’s English version of 1551 puts it, Utopians enjoy ‘neither wine-taverns, nor ale-houses, nor stews,...

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Out of this World

David Armitage, 16 November 1995

It can hardly be a coincidence that the historical study of utopias has accelerated as faith in the promises of utopianism has declined. The very idea that utopias, those rose-tinted cities...

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Miserable Creatures

C.H. Sisson, 2 August 1984

The fourth volume of the Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy opens with a recommendation for Mr Harry Pouncy, ‘Lecturer and Entertainer’, of Dorchester, apparently with a view to his...

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