Film: A Commemoration of Coleridge's Death July 25, 2021

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Live From The Crypt
July 25th 2021, 3.30 pm

 One hundred and eighty seven years ago this July Samuel Taylor Coleridge breathed his last in an upper room at 3 The Grove, Highgate, north London. “I could almost be witty,” he quipped as he died. After a long spell in a local graveyard he, his wife Sarah, daughter Sara, son-in-law (and nephew) Henry, and grandson Herbert - `Herbie’ as he was fondly known – were re-interred in the rubble strewn, 17th-century wine cellar that lies in the crypt of St Michael’s Church Highgate, not a hundred yards from the scene of his death.

 It’s taken a lot of spadework! Charities don’t find it easy to set up bank accounts. The Charity Commission properly scrutinises application with great care. Most of our trustees have full time work to attend to … But The Coleridge Trust, after some three years of hard effort – and a great deal of help from organisations like the Friends of Coleridge – are pretty close to getting on with some serious fundraising initiatives to realise our simple dream: a rebuilt, sensitively designed crypt area in St Michael’s Church.

 As a promotional film we have enlisted the help of our president Sir Paul Coleridge and the poet’s direct descendant Richard Coleridge; two academics who will be no strangers to Friends: Malcolm Guite and Seamus Perry, and two actors who will help us with some readings of the poet’s work. It will feature what is hoped will be an annual commemoration of the poet’s death in our village.

At the centre of the film Sir Paul takes viewers on a leisurely stroll round the London village showing all the principal places where STC lived, worked, walked, expounded and finally died and was buried. It was from here that 'Biographia Literaria' was finished and published;  where publication of 'Sibylline Leaves' was negotiated; where some of his finest theological works and other lectures were written.. And it was here, where his daughter Sara came – one of the most brilliant women of the 19th century and a poet in her own right - with her friend Dorothy Wordsworth. At the top of Moreton House, where he lived from 1816 to 1823, his elder son Hartley nearly died from typhoid.

So much happened to and for him in this bustling village, yet they are stories which, although told, have seldom been told as loudly or frequently as they ought to be. If part of our effort means that some of that imbalance can be righted, so much the better.

A Bitly version is:

while, to connect to the finished film on July 25th (3.30 pm) and then speak live to some of the participants, Friends can go to

I look forward to hearing from you then, when we shall be `Live from the Crypt’.

Drew Clode
The Coleridge Trust

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