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Reading: Writing in Dissent: Coleridge and the Poetry of the Monthly Magazine


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Writing in Dissent: Coleridge and the Poetry of the Monthly Magazine


Felicity James

About Felicity
Felicity James currently holds a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford. Her research focuses on Unitarian literary networks in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including the circle around the Monthly Magazine. She is writing a study of Charles Lamb's writing and friendship in the 1790s and organising a day seminar on Charles and Mary Lamb at Christ Church on November 11, 2006. She has published on Charles Lamb and Coleridge and review for several periodicals including The Year's Work in English Studies.
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This essay explores the relationship between the individual author and the wider identity of the periodical, using as a case study Coleridge's contributions to the Monthly Magazine. I align the complicated dynamic of the individual participating in the collective enterprise to other debates of the time pursued in the pages and the poetry of the Monthly,focussing particularly on the dialectic of private affection versus wider benevolence, and, closely related to this, retirement versus social engagement. The poems of the Monthly , such as Coleridge's ‘Reflections on Entering into Active Life', and works by Lamb and Barbauld, strenuously participate in these debates; so too, I argue, do Coleridge's series of parodic sonnets published in 1797 under the name Nehemiah Higginbottom, which I re-read in the context of the Monthly and alongside the wider concept of the place of parody in the periodical.
How to Cite: James, F., (2006). Writing in Dissent: Coleridge and the Poetry of the Monthly Magazine. 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. (3). DOI:
Published on 01 Oct 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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