"Breaking Away" by Carol Kyros           Walker

Breaking Away Coleridge in Scotland Carol Kyros Walker

Publication date:
11 Dec 2002
Yale University Press
216 pages: 216 x 229mm
87 b-w + 78 color illus.

When Samuel Taylor Coleridge set out on a tour of Scotland with his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth in the summer of 1803, his wits were as sharp as ever but his health, professional career, marriage, and friendship with William and his sister Dorothy were in a deteriorating state. On the fifteenth day of their travels, the Wordsworths and Coleridge parted ways, ostensibly so that Coleridge could return home. Instead he pursued his own Scottish tour, finding pleasure in his solitude, speed, and endurance.

This book draws on Coleridge’s letters and notebooks to look at his travels with the Wordsworths from his own point of view and to record and photograph the journey he experienced after he parted from them. Carol Kyros Walker, editor of Dorothy Wordsworth’s own Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, now retraces Coleridge’s very different Scottish tour and recounts his adventures there. In a remarkable photographic and literary essay, she argues that Coleridge’s speed (263 miles in eight days), energy, reflections, notes, and letters all betray a man of great talent who was breaking away—from the Wordsworths, from his wife, from his life in the Lake District, and from a dry phase of his writing career.

Carol Kyros Walker is an artist in residence at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also the author of Walking North with Keats and editor of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Reminiscences of a Tour in Scotland, both published by Yale University Press.

?Carol Kyros Walker?s generously and sometimes gorgeously illustrated book brings added life to Coleridge?s 1803 journey through Scotland; it is suitable for both the scholar?s bookshelf and the general reader?s coffee table.??Adam Potkay, Wordsworth Circle

?Breaking Away combines letters and notebook entries by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, recounting an extended jaunt in the summer of 1803, with extraordinary photographs and commentary by Carol Kyros Walker, who retraced Coleridge?s journey. The whole is a beautiful job of bookmaking, a pleasure to hold and read. . . . The mix of [her] words and her photographs is stunning.??John Wilson, Christianity Today

"Hugely enjoyable."?Helen Cook, Scots Magazine