This is just a note to let you know that my book Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge comes out in paperback today on both sides of the Atlantic! The image above is the cover of the new English Paperback edition from Hodder and Stoughton. I’m delighted with their choice for a cover since the night-sky was such an important image of beauty, grace, and tranfigurative light especially in his darkest days. Here is a passage from the book about what that night-sky meant to STC, including his own words from the end of his Biographia Literaria:
Coleridge came to comprehend a unity and continuity between his reason and his faith, both of them welling up from and animated by imagination. In the last words of the Biographia, he seems to revisit that evening walk as a little boy, holding his father’s hands while the stars came out, but this time the grown man has found himself drawn into the life of another Father, with the Son, and Holy Spirit:
Christianity, as taught in the Liturgy and Homilies of our Church, though not discoverable by human Reason, is yet in accordance with it; that link follows link by necessary consequence; that Religion passes out of the ken of Reason only where the eye of Reason has reached its own Horizon; and that Faith is then but its continuation: even as the Day softens away into the sweet Twilight, and Twilight, hushed and breathless, steals into the Darkness. It is Night, sacred Night! The upraised Eye views only the starry Heaven which manifests itself alone: and the outward Beholding is fixed on the sparks twinkling in the aweful depth, though Suns of other Worlds, only to preserve the Soul steady and collected in its pure Act of inward Adoration to the great I AM, and to the filial WORD that re-affirmeth it from Eternity to Eternity, whose choral Echo is the Universe.