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Samuel Taylor Coleridge Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Samuel Taylor was the youngest of nine siblings and four half-siblings in the Coleridge family.25

When it came to the details of daily living, Coleridge was, by all accounts, an absolute mess. At one point he owned six shirts. In short order, he lost three in the laundry, slept in one, accidentally used one as a floor mat, and had only one left for wearing.26

Don't try this at home, kids! Among the many awful side effects of Coleridge's opium addiction was crippling constipation, which made him "weep & sweat & moan & scream."27

Coleridge hated his first name, Samuel, and frequently used pseudonyms in his writing. His pen names included Gnome, Zagri, and Nehemiah Higginbottom.28

When Coleridge was seven years old, his older brother Frank (in typical older brother fashion) ruined a cheese snack the younger boy was saving for himself. Samuel fought him, Frank punched him back, and an enraged Samuel grabbed a knife and was about to stab him when their mother walked in. Terrified of his punishment, Coleridge dropped the knife and fled to a cold and misty field where he hid overnight. A search party found him the next day. His plan worked – he was so weak and sick that everyone forgot that he tried to kill Frank the day before.29

One night after drinking claret (a dry red wine) with friends, Coleridge hurled a glass through the window, and then threw a fork at a wine glass. No record of who picked up the mess.30

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