SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834), one of the most imaginative poets of the English Romantic Movement, was also its most influential thinker and philosopher. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written early in his life, during a period of intense and impassioned creativity, and, like all his best work, has a visionary quality with strong religious and metaphysical overtones.
MERVYN PEAKE (1911-1968) was born in China but moved to England at the age of eleven and studied at Eltham College, Kent, and at the Royal Academy Schools. His striking originality as an artist brought him renown as an illustrator of books such as Alice in Wonderland, The Hunting of the Snark and Treasure Island. He also wrote poetry and plays, but is best remembered as a writer for his Gormenghast trilogy of novels, Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone, an extravagant gothic fantasy that has become a modern classic.