The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD 2019
‘This is a book of wonders’ Sunday Times
‘Spellbinding and intelligent’ Financial Times
‘Extraordinary and engrossing’ Spectator
It was the most extraordinary year. In a book brimming with poetry and nature writing, biography and adventure, Adam Nicolson walks in the footsteps of Coleridge, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy during the months in the late 1790s they spent together in the Quantock Hills.
Out of it came The Ancient Mariner, ‘Kubla Khan’, Lyrical Ballads and ‘Tintern Abbey’; Coleridge’s unmatched hymns to friendship and fatherhood; Wordsworth’s revolutionary verses and paeans to the unity of soul and cosmos, love and understanding. In short, a poetry that sought to remake the world.
”'Dazzling … Before I read this book I was something of a Wordsworth-sceptic. But Nicolson is one of the most persuasive advocates of his genius I have read. The Making of Poetry brings the poetry to life, but also the countryside … It has paid off brilliantly. He is helped along by Tom Hammick’s beautiful illustrations.” - The Times
”'Brilliant … Adam Nicolson has shown us, in this subtle and masterly book, the cost of the making of poetry” - New Statesman
”'The perfect marriage … Poetry and place are perfectly braided together in prose whose biographical mood pays tribute to Richard Holmes and whose topographical fervour evokes Robert Macfarlane.” - Observer
”'Adam Nicolson takes us deeper into this extraordinary time and place, and these explosive young minds, than ever before in his captivating book … It is intensely moving and thrilling.” - Evening Standard
”'Spellbinding … The Making of Poetry is an excitingly new kind of literary book … One of the most imaginative and luminously intelligent books about poetry I have read” - Financial Times
‘Sublime … Nicolson’s prose swoops and sings all over the landscape; his poets’ embeddings in nature and interconnections of thought are richly evoked, and his enjoyment of their journey into understanding is utterly infectious.’ Sunday Times -
”'A fabulous book! Passionate, original, intensely personal, and thrillingly observant … It will have terrific impact. …Completely captivating. It is also truly moving. Above all, he is fascinating on the central relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth.” - Richard Holmes
”'One of the most beautiful books I’ve seen” - Spectator
”'I started underlining particularly beautiful passages, but soon realised that I would end up underlining virtually the whole book” - Mail on Sunday