Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes is the author of Shelley: The Pursuit (published by NYRB Classics), which won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1974; Coleridge: Early Visions, winner of the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year award; Dr Johnson & Mr Savage, which won the 1993 James Tait Black Prize; and Coleridge: Darker Reflections, which won the 1990 Duff Cooper Prize and Heinemann Award. His new book, Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air, was published in October 2013. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1992. He is also a professor of biographical studies at the University of East Anglia. He lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain. The article in the December 18, 2014 issue draws on the seventh Leon Levy Biography Lecture, which he gave in 2014 on “The Two Sides of the Biographer’s Notebook.”

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    My Fantoms

    The famed biographer of Shelley and Coleridge, Richard Holmes, compiles fantastical stories of love and death and from France’s leading Romantic, friend of Hugo, and dedicatee of Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal. “It is in Gautier that we first seem to find an authentic French sense of the the unreal world…[it] is recognizable at once as something alike genuine and profound.”—H.P. Lovecraft

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    Here we have the real Shelley at last—radical agitator, atheist, and apostle of free love, as well as a brilliant and uncompromising poetic innovator.