Viewing Samuel Taylor Coleridge's pursuit of continental intellectualism through the lens of cosmopolitanism, Maximiliaan van Woudenberg examines the so-called 'German Mania' of the writer in the context of the intellectual history of the university. At a time when the confessional model of Oxbridge precluded a liberal education in England, van Woudenberg argues, Coleridge's pursuit of continental methodologies and networks encountered at the University of Gottingen anticipated the foundation of the modern von Humboldt research-university model. Founded by the Hanoverian rulers of Great Britain, this cosmopolitan institution of knowledge successfully fostered cross-cultural interchange between German and British intellectuals during the latter half of the eighteenth century. van Woudenberg links the origins of Coleridge's engagement with European intellectualism to his first encounter with the innovations of a Reform university during his studies at the University of Gottingen in 1799, a period that many critics and biographers believe spoiled his poetry. Drawing on hitherto unexamined primary records and documents in German Kurrentschrift, this study shows Coleridge to be a visionary whose cross-cultural dissemination of continental intellectualism in England was ahead of its time and presents an intriguing episode in Cosmopolitan Romanticism by a major canonical figure.
Coleridge and Cosmopolitan Intellectualism 1794-1804
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