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Coleridge Hartley

Coleridge, Hartley (1796-1849), an English man of letters, the son of the poet S. T. Coleridge. Born at Clevedon in Somerset, he passed his early years at Keswick, where he was in company with his father, Wordsworth, De Quincey, and Professor Wilson. He went to Oxford in 1815, and there displayed much of his father's great powers as well as his weakness of purpose. His want of early discipline led him to succumb to the temptations of university life and to take to drinking. Elected a Fellow of Oriel, he lost his fellowship during his probationary year, and being presented by the authorities with £300, he came to London for three years, and wrote short poems for the London magazines. He next tried for five years to carry on a school at Ambleside. This proving a failure he retired to Grasmere, and passed the rest of his life in literary work, much beloved for his many charming qualities by all about him, whose affection for the man was proof against his weaknesses. He wrote Essays for Blackwood, Lives of Northern Worthies, and in 1839 The Life of Massinger, his last work. His prose style is good, and of his poems, in which Wordsworth's influence is to be traced, the best are his Sonnets, and an unfinished lyric drama, Prometheus.