William Godwin's Diary


Coleridge lectured on European literature at the Philosophical Society, Fleur-de-Luce Court, Fetter Lane, from 27 January to 13 March 1818. His lectures started at 8.15pm on Tuesday and Friday evenings and formed a pioneering exercise in comparative literature, but also placed him in direct competition on the Tuesday nights with Hazlitt, who was lecturing at the nearby Surrey Institution from 7.00pm. Crabb Robinson sometimes employed a carriage to try and catch parts of both in the same evening but Godwin only attended two of Coleridge’s series. On 3 March he chose to hear Hazlitt over Coleridge, and the lecture on contemporary poets he listened to that night ironically included a portrait of Coleridge that combined devastating criticisms with an elegiac personal tribute.

See DNB and Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections (London: HarperCollins, 1998).