Porlock. That tiny village near the Bristol Channel should indicate the subject of my new novel, The Second Person from Porlock.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a poet who changed the way poetry should be read. A revolution in how it is understood. It has been said that his theory of the imagination has led to the establishment of English as an academic subject for university study, and I am inclined to believe this. Yet his life was chaotic. He was an opium-sodden wretch, he was deeply selfish, he deserted his wife. A multi-layered character. Greatness mixed with degradation.
You can’t just write about him. I composed a sort of riff about his life. This was a real pleasure for me. The starting point was a strange, ambiguous comment scrawled in a copy of “Kubla Khan” in the Old Library of Jesus College, Cambridge, his college and mine.
Who wrote it? A mystery. We meet two fictional characters, one searching for Coleridge, the other for himself. There is a touch of the supernatural in this, reflecting both his poetry and his life.
The book is published by Fairlight Books.
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