The Coleridge Collection Part II: Fiction and Drama

An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Scholarship
Volumes I-III
Walter B. Crawford
With the research and editorial assistance of
Ann M. Crawford


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[S II.1 1801] NOVALIS (pseud of Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg, 1772-1801). Heinrich von Ofterdingen. A novel left unfinished in 1801. Annotated from the translation from the German by Palmer Hilty, NY: F Ungar Pubg Co [1964], iv, 169 pp. Introduction, pp 1-11.

  • A Coleridge-related reference to this novel was found in [S I 1991] GAARDER, qv for notes about C's sources, and Gaarder's. In Gaarder's chapter on Romanticism, in the course of discussing Kant, Schiller, and Novalis, philosopher Alberto explains the Romanticists' view of the artist: "In his transports of artistic rapture he could sense the dissolving of the boundary between dream and reality." Alberto's first example is the hero of the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Heinrich "is searching for the 'blue flower' that he once saw in a dream and has yearned for ever since. The English Romantic poet Coleridge expressed the same idea [in his Notebook entry 4287: "If a man could pass thro' Paradise in a Dream, & have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his Soul had really been there, & found that flower in his hand when he awoke--Aye! and what then?"]." Alberto goes on to discuss this dream-token motif, but except possibly in the passage on p 22 (qv below), Heinrich's "blue flower" is not a token brought back to the real world from a dream world, like C's dream-token, but a symbol of beauty, love, happiness, etc.
  • The principal relevant passages in the Hilty translation are as follows (my italics mark key images):
  • "'I [Heinrich] yearn to get a glimpse of the blue flower. It is perpetually in my mind . . . . I have never felt like this before; it seems as if I had a dream just then, or as if slumber had carried me into another world'" (Ch I, p15).
  • In Heinrich's dream,"what attracted him with great force was a tall, pale blue flower, which stood beside the spring and touched him with its broad glistening leaves. Around this flower were countless others of every hue . . . . He saw nothing but the blue flower and gazed upon it long with inexpressible tenderness. Finally, . . . the flower leaned towards him and its petals displayed an expanded blue corolla wherein a delicate face hovered" (p 17).
  • His father says that he too once had a strange dream, in which fountains and flowers were everywhere, "'and among all the flowers one pleased me especially, and it seemed to me that the others leaned toward this one. . . . ' Afterwards his guide tells him to "'be sure to pay heed to a small blue flower which you will find up here; break it off and humbly resign yourself to heavenly guidance'" (p 22).
  • Heinrich rode with the travelers "out of the gates of Eisenach, and . . . . when on an eminence they saw the abandoned countryside suddenly lit up by the rising sun, . . . . he was on the verge of immersing himself in the blue waters of the distance. The magic flower was before him, and he gazed over into Thuringia, which he was just leaving, with [a] strange premonition" (p 26).
  • In a later fable, a stranger's song includes these lines: "'Grateful I feel the magic power / The gods have set upon my tongue; / O would I had the magic flower / Of love beside me fair and young'" (Ch III, p 49).
  • "The ladies liked to dwell on [Heinrich's] attractive figure, for it was like the simple saying of a stranger, which one hardly notices until long after his departure, when its deep and unpretentious bud opens up more and more and finally reveals a gorgeous flower in all the glory of closely entwined leaves so that one never forgets it, . . . and has an inexhaustible, ever-present treasure in it" (Ch IV, p 53).
  • Heinrich and Mathilda fall in love. He "said to himself when he was alone . . . :'Do I not feel as I did in that dream when I saw the blue flower? What strange connection is there between Mathilda and that flower? . . . She will be my innermost soul . . . . I was born only to adore her, to serve her forever, to think and be aware of her'" (Ch VI, pp 104-5).
  • In another dream, "a marvelously beautiful flower floated and gleamed on the gentle waves. . . . A lily pad curved over the calyx of the floating flower . . . . In the flower cup lay Eros himself leaning over a beautiful, slumbering maiden with her arms tightly clasped around him. A small flower closed around them so that from the hips down they appeared to be changed into one flower" (Ch IX, p 131).
  • Physician Sylvester tells Heinrich: "'Plants are the most immediate language of the soil;. every new leaf, every unusual flower is some kind of secret pressing forth and turning into a quiet voiceless plant because it is too full of love and joy to move around and utter words. When one finds such a flower in solitude, does it not seem as if everything round about were transfigured and as if the little feathered songs preferred to linger in its neighborhood? . . . This green mysterious carpet of love . . . . is renewed every spring, and its strange script is legible only to its lover . . . . He will daily become aware of new meanings, new more ravishing revelations of loving nature.' Heinrich then says that his father is "'also a great friend of garden life, and the happiest hours of his days he spends among his flowers. This too has no doubt kept his mind so open toward children, since flowers are the images of children'" (The Second Part, p 163).
  • "Blue" is a much-used image throughout the novel. See also uses of "rose" (e.g., Ch VII, p 111, and Ch VIII, p 116-18).

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[S II.1 1824] [SCOTT, Walter.] Redgauntlet : A Tale of the Eighteenth Century. By the Author of Waverley. 3 vols. Ptd for Archibald Constable & Co, Edin, & Hurst, Robinson, & Co, L (1824). Rpt in vols 33-34 of The Works of Sir Walter Scott, including The Waverley Novels and the Poems, Caledonian Edn, 50 vols, Bost & NY: Houghton Mifflin (1912-13).

  • "Wandering Willie's Tale" (1913, I, 146-70, in Letter [chapter] XI), told by the blind fiddler, Willie Steen. His father ("Steenie") brought a year's rent to his landlord, the devilish Sir Robert Redgauntlet, but forgot to pick up the receipt Sir Robert wrote out just before collapsing and dying. Some time later, the successor Laird of Redgauntlet, John, can find neither the silver nor the receipt, demands payment of Steenie, and finally agrees that he won't demand the silver if Steenie can bring him the receipt. Wandering in the wood of Pit murkie, Steenie meets a stranger, [whom we know is the devil,] who directs him to what is Hell's replica of Sir Robert's manse, only about ten miles from the earthly house, where he finds Sir Robert and his hell-mates carousing. Steenie talks Sir Robert into giving him the receipt, but as for the silver, Sir Robert tells him "'my dog-whelp of a son may go look for it in the Cat's Cradle'." Steenie declares aloud, "'I refer myself to God's pleasure, and not to yours'," and finds himself back in the wood. He returns and hands the receipt to Laird John, who discovers that it is dated "'yesterday! Villain, thou must have gone to Hell for this!' "I got it from your honour's father; whether he be in heaven or Hell, I know not,' said Steenie." Sir John listens to Steenie's full account, learns what part of the house has been called "Cat's Cradle," and finds the silver. Sir John, in accord with Steenie, tries to burn the receipt: "Burn it would not for them, though; but away it flew up the lum [chimney], wi' a lang train of sparks at its tail, and a hissing noise like a squib."
  • The signed receipt from Hell--a pledge that a man has been there--is like the flower--a pledge that a man has been in Paradise--noted by C in Notebook entry 4287, 1815-16 (first published in Anima Poetae, 1895--C734, p 282). For more detailed treatment of this motif, see Part II.1, Wells (1895--C7082); for other C-related adaptations of this motif, see Index 7, "If a man . . ." under 3400 and the 6000s, 6400s-6900s, 8400s, and 8700s. See also 3820 Notebook entry 4287.

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[S II.1 1948] SKINNER, B F. Walden Two. NY: Macmillan (1948). Chapters 13-14 rpt in Utopian Literature: A Selection, ed J W Johnson (Modern Library College Edns, T96) NY: Modern Library (1968), pp 271-85.

  • Psychologist Frazier explains some of the "bio-engineering" used on children in the Walden Two Community he founded. "'We give each child a lollipop which has been dipped in powdered sugar so that a single touch of the tongue can be detected. We tell him he may eat the lollipop later in the day, provided it hasn't already been licked. Since the child is only three or four, it is a fairly diff----' // 'Three or four!' Castle exclaimed. // 'All our ethical training is completed by the age of six,' said Frazier quietly. 'A simple principle like putting temptation out of sight would be acquired before four. But at such an early age the problem of not licking the lollipop isn't easy. . . . Concealing a tempting but forbidden object is a crude solution. For one thing, it's not always feasible. We want a sort of psychological concealment--covering up the candy by paying no attention. In a later experiment the children wear their lollipops like crucifixes for a few hours.' // [2 indented lines parodying The RAM 141-2:] "Instead of the cross, the lollipop, / About my neck was hung," // said Castle [visiting psychologist]. // 'I wish somebody had taught me that, though,' said Rodge [ex-GI], with a glance at Barbara [his girl-friend]" (p 277-8).

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[S II.1 1964] BYATT, A[ntonia] S[usan D]. Shadow of a Sun. Chatto & Windus (1964); NY: Harcourt, Brace & World (1964). Rpt as The Shadow of the Sun, with introduction by the author, San Diego, NY, & L: Harcourt Brace & Co (1991), rpt (Harvest Book) 1993, xvii, 298 pp.

  • "The Shadow of the Sun is the story of sensitive seventeen-year-old Anna Severell, who struggles to discover and develop her own personality in the shadow of her father, Henry Severell, a renowned British novelist. In the introduction to this edition [pp vii-xv] A. S. Byatt looks back on the novel's genesis and on the problems she faced as a woman writing her first novel" (publisher's blurb), begun when she was about Anna's age and published when she was 25 and mother of two. "Henry Severell is partly simply my secret self, someone . . . . who saw everything too bright, too fierce, too much, like . . . the C of the flashing eyes and floating hair" (p ix). "What I said at the time was that the novel was about . . . . the secondary imagination feeding off, and taming, the primary--to use Cn terms, since the one person I was sure I admired and loved at that time was C" (p x). "C saw the the human intellect as a light like the moon, reflecting the light of the primary consciousness, the Sun. My Anna was not even a reflected light, she was a shadow of a light only, who had partial visions in clouds (like the Dejection Ode) or stormy moonlight . . . . I feared that fate" (p xii). Cn elements integrated into novel and developed at some depth on pages 5, 6, 9; 33; 59; 84; 218, 249; and 238.

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[S II.1 1967] BYATT, A[ntonia] S[usan D]. The Game. Chatto & Windus (1967). 1st Vintage International Edn, NY: Vintage Bks, A Division of Random House (1992). 285 pp.

  • Second epigraph is by C: "The principle of the imagination resembles the emblem of the serpent, by which the ancients typified wisdom and the universe, with undulating folds, for ever varying and for ever flowing into itself--circular, and without beginning or end." This statement and C's Psyche are integrated into the central theme of the novel, as is Dejection 48 less directly (pp 12, 28).

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[S II.1 1973] AIKEN, Joan. "The Windshield Weepers." The Green Flash, and Other Tales of Horror, Suspense, and Fantasy. (Laurel-Leaf Library, TM 766734) NY: Dell (1973). 1st pub NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Pp 140-56.

  • The lead characters, young Taylor Samuel and Sanchie, refer to The RAM, especially lines 446-51, and to C as a "junkie." But most of the story revolves around KK, opposing interpretations of lines 14-16 being central, perhaps also lines 53-4. Sanchie is "a damsel with a dulcimer" (37-41) and either the wailing woman or the demon-lover.
  • Gift to CCC from Louise Lubbe.

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[S II.1 1977] (C7543) WHITEMORE, Hugh. Stevie. A play based on the life and writings of Stevie Smith. First presented by Duncan C Weldon and Louis I Michaels in association with Bullfinch Productions at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, in March 1977. Directed by Clifford Williams, designed by John Gunter. With Glenda Jackson as Stevie, Mona Washbourne as Aunt, and Peter Eyre as Friend. Play first published in 1977 by Samuel French Ltd. Rpt as Stevie, A Play by Hugh Whitemore from the life and work of Stevie Smith, Oxf: Amber Lane P (1984), 64 pp, 183 x 106mm.

  • The action takes place in the sitting-room of Stevie's home at 1 Avondale Road, Palmers Green, London. The time: between 1950 and 1971. In Act 2, Man asks, "Do you find writing a painful process?" "Sometimes," replies Stevie, "there are those days when you think: I'm finished. I'll never write another word. C days, you know." "MAN: With the Person from Porlock knocking on the door. STEVIE: Hammering's more like it. I do think he was a frightful cheat, don't you, C, blaming his bad days on some poor harmless visitor. I think he was already stuck in the middle of KK and was just looking for an easy excuse" [paraphrase of lines 7-12 of her poem "Thoughts about the Person from Porlock" (1966--C8230)]. Then Stevie quotes from the poem: "I long for the Person from Porlock / To bring my thoughts to an end, / I am becoming impatient to see him, / I think of his as a friend." Other lines paraphrased and quoted but no more explicit C references (1984, pp 45-6).

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[S II.1 1979] MacLEOD, Charlotte. The Luck Runs Out. NY: Avon Bks, A Division of The Hearst Corp (1981). 192 pp. 1st pub NY: Doubleday (1979).

  • Balaclava Agricultural College's Professor Peter Shandy, age 56, occasional amateur sleuth, tells his bride Helen about Matilda Gables, "'that cute little sophomore . . . who wears the T-shirt that reads, "He prayeth best who loveth best All creatures great and small"'" (1981, p 79). Quoted are the opening lines of Mrs C F Alexander's popular hymn (1848--C8113), with "creatures" for C's "things both," her version of The RAM 614-15.
  • Gift to CCC from Louise Lubbe.

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[S II.1 1980] WOLFMAN, Marv. "Xanadu!" Machine Man, Marv Wolfman, Script/Edits; Steve Ditko, Art. Machine Man, 1, No 13 (F 1980, c1979), 1-30.

  • Comic book. Villain, living in "palatial estate," Xanadu, is Kublai Khan; "like the Kublai Khan of yore, his word is law." His body "bloated, obese beyond all function," he seeks to capture Machine Man Aaron Stack, X-51, a thinking computer, a living robot, and by transferring his own brain into Machine Man to become immortal. Estate name Xanadu more likely stems from Orson Welles' use in Citizen Kane (1941--C7196) than directly from C's KK.

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[S II.1 1981] (C7627) KEATING, H R F. "Caught and Bowled, Mrs. Craggs." John Creasey's Crime Collection, 1981. An Anthology by members of the Crime Writers' Association. Ed Herbert Harris. NY: St Martin's P, c1981 by Victor Gollancz Ltd. Pp 83-94. "Original and unpubd in this Collection." Rpt in Mrs Craggs: Crimes Cleaned Up (1985--C7627, qv for annotation.)

  • NY 1981 edition given to CCC by Louise Lubbe.

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[S II.1 1984] McCRUMB, Sharyn. Sick of Shadows. NY: Avon Books (1984). First Ballantine Books Edition: Jy 1989, 236 pp.

  • Elizabeth, of the not-rich MacPhersons, is invited to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of her cousin Eileen, of the very rich Chandlers. Elizabeth's aunts in Chandler Grove, Georgia, are Amanda, mother of Eileen, and also-rich Louisa, mother of Alban. On a grand tour of Europe, Alban became obsessed with Ludwig, the mad king of Bavaria, and returning home he has built a somewhat smaller "'replica of [Ludwig's castle] Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, which dates from 1869'" (p 31).
  • Elizabeth is met at the station by her cousin Geoffrey Chandler, whose speech is full of literary quotations and allusions. On their way to the Chandler mansion, she gets her first glimpse of what (in a letter to her brother Bill) she calls a "Disneyland castle, complete with little spires and turrets and a sentry box. . . . (Nobody is quite sure what to call it. Geoffrey calls it Albania.) . . . As we swung into the driveway, I asked if Alban might be in the tower observing us (with crossbow?). 'He's not home,' said Geoffrey. 'The flag isn't flying'" (pp 23-4).
  • Later Geoffrey brings Elizabeth a message from Alban: "'He said to tell you that you are to go over at ten o'clock tomorrow to be shown around the Albantross. Not his exact words, of course. Got that? Good. Then I shall say good night 'til it be morrow'" (p 53).
  • The earlier allusion to a crossbow reminds the reader of the cruel weapon in Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and it helps the reader recognize that poem's Albatross in Geoffrey's mutation--"Alban-tross"--which in the last chapters of the story can be recalled as a symbol of guilt.

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[S II.1 1986] PELLETIER, Cathie. The Funeral Makers. NY: Collier Bks, Macmillan Pubg Co (1986). ix, 247 pp.

  • Chapter titled "Wailers and Demons: Thelma Makes Use of Her Voice Training" uses KK 12-16 as epigraph.

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[S II.1 1988] [ANON?]. "Payback." Episode of Hunter, TV drama series on NBC network. Telecast in LA, Channel 4, KNBC, 10:00 pm (17 D 1988).

  • Terry "Smokey" Andeman, a petty-thief so often in jail that his wife keeps his "jail bag" packed, and his brother Murray, helped Vance rob a bank owned by gangster counterfeiter Falk. Vance blew up the tunnel and killed Murray. Because Terry once saved police officer Richard Hunter's life and is constantly reminding him of it--Hunter says of Terry, "He's an albatross around my neck"--Hunter helps solve the crime, feeling an albatross-guilt for not yet having paid back the moral debt.

[S II.1 1988] BEATON, M C. Death of an Outsider. NY: Ivy Books (1988). 148 pp.

  • "Diarmuid Sinclair sat beside the cold hearth wrapped in a tartan blanket. He looked like one of the minor prophets or the AM seeking one of three to stoppeth. He had a long white beard and glittering eyes, bushy eyebrows, and a rosy, wrinkled face" (p 27).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1988] HART, Carolyn G. Honeymoon with Murder. NY: Bantam Bks (1988). 227 pp.

  • Heroine Annie goes to talk to Ophelia, a pretentious suspect--"just a nut or perhaps a murderous nut?" Annie wonders--whose racket is "channeling" for people, putting them in touch with the dead, those on "the other side." Rain has delayed the honeymoon [Annie's? Max's yes]. "As Annie plunged inside with Laurel [another pretentious one] at her heels, a deep voice (Ophelia must have a well-exercised diaphragm) intoned, 'Water, water everywhere' [The RAM 119, 121]. Resisting the temptation to make the obvious reply [The RAM 120, 122], Annie glanced around the cluttered room, then wished she hadn't" (p 141).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1988] MORRESSY, John. Kedrigern in Wanderland. NY: Ace Bks (1988). 247 pp.

  • Crusty wizard Kedrigern and wife Princess take to the road in search of the perfect magic wand for her. After enduring numerous adventures, Kedrigern thinks: "It was a bad business, rapidly worsening; and all the result of traveling. Travel never did anyone any good. Look at Odysseus. Consider the AM. Travel meant nothing but fuss, discomfort, and annoying complications in one's life" (p 200).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1988] PETERS, Elizabeth. The Deeds of the Disturber: An Amelia Peabody Mystery. NY: Atheneum (1988). xi, 289 pp.

  • Narrator is Amelia Peabody, Victorian feminist, Egyptologist, archeologist, compulsive sleuth. Chapter Ten begins: "Poets are always running on about the benefits of sleep, which is reputed to be 'a gentle thing, beloved from pole to pole' [The RAM 292-3], and which 'knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,' et cetera, ad infinitum. I myself have always regarded it as a frightful waste of time" (p 176).


[S II.1 1988] UNDERWOOD, Michael. Dual Enigma. Macmillan (1988); NY: St Martin's P (1988). 189 pp.

  • Solicitors and lovers Rosa Epton and Peter Chen are in a small Chelsea restaurant but eager to go to his flat. "'We'll order now,' Peter said, 'then we'll be out before all the yuppies and their girl-friends invade the place.' 'You make us sound like the AM and his mother.' Peter bent forward and kissed her again. Rosa decided that if the AM had ever kissed his mother she'd hardly have experienced the same sensual pleasure" (p 168).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

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[S II.1 1989] NYE, Jody Lynn, with Anne McCaffrey. The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern. Il by Todd Cameron Hamilton. Maps and additional ils by James Clouse. A Del Rey Book. NY: Ballantine Bks (1989). xi, 178 pp. 276 x 213mm. Paper. Illustrated cover.

  • In section on "The First Stakeholds": "Within a year the colonists had spread to their chosen homes. As the planet had no sentient species, the settlers had the privilege of naming the landmarks and provinces of their new home. Some of the names they chose were fanciful, like Xanadu and Paradise River, but some reflected the stakeholders' pride in their background or former homes" (p 20b).
  • Xanadu is not shown on the map of the Southern Continent (p 21), but it is featured in maps and text in McCaffrey, Dragonsdawn (1988--C7661), and All the Weyrs of Pern (1991--C7684), qqv.

[S II.1 1989] SKOM, Edith. The Mark Twain Murders. NY: Dell (1989). viii, 278 pp.

  • Plot revolves around question of plagiarism at publish-or-perish Midwestern University. In discussion with other faculty, Ida Garden, disgruntled feminist Assistant Professor of English insists, "'I still say everyone steals and always has, and that includes the biggies--Shakespeare, Coleridge'" (p 76). At garden party for faculty: "'Charades!' said [hostess] Penelope [Hewmann] gaily. 'Charades everyone! This year the theme is-Ancient Mariner! ' Spence [Assistant Professor Spencer Goldberg] groaned and complained he wanted another drink. . . . The game was a disaster, with Spence maintaining at the top of his voice that the lines he wanted to act out were 'And every tongue, through utter drought was withered at the root' [applies The RAM 135-6 to Penelope's not serving alcoholic beverages] . . ." (pp 159-60).

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[S II.1 1991] BEATON, M C. Death of a Snob. NY: St Martin's P (1991). 151 pp.

  • Epigraph to Chapter Six is ". . . the motive-hunting of motiveless malignity--how awful it is!" Quoted from C's remark (Lecture 5 on Shakespeare) on Iago's last speech in Othello (in Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature, II 315 [CC 5]).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1991] DEITZ, Tom. Soulsmith. NY: Avon Bks (1991). 449 pp.

  • "[With the air] seasonably warm and the waning moon beating down upon him and turning the cobbles to blue and the water to rippling silver, it was easy to suspend disbelief and pretend he was on the fringe of another, more magical realm" (p 342).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S I 1991] GAARDER, Jostein. Sofies verden: Roman om filosofiens historie. Oslo: H Aschehoug & Co (W Nygaard) (1991). Rpt (paper) 1995. 509 pp. 216 x 153mm. Register. English translation: Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. Translated by Paulette Møller. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1994); rpt (paper) NY: Berkley Books (1996, 1997). xv, 523 pp. Index.

  • Annotated from the translation: In the chapter on Romanticism, in the course of discussing Kant, Schiller, and Novalis, philosopher Alberto explains the Romanticists' view of the artist: "In his transports of artistic rapture he could sense the dissolving of the boundary between dream and reality." Alberto's first example is the hero of the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen (left unfinished in 1801, qv [S II.1 1801]), by Novalis (pseudonym of Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg). Heinrich "is searching for the 'blue flower' that he once saw in a dream and has yearned for ever since. The English Romantic poet Coleridge expressed the same idea [in his Notebook entry 4287]; saying something like this: . . . ." In both the Norwegian and the English editions, the "something like this" is not C's words in his Notebook entry, but the "dumbed-down" paraphrase in S I 1990 LaBERGE (qv above for comparison with C's original words), which appeared one year before the first publication of Gaarder's book. Sophie's response: "'How pretty!'" Alberto continues his discussion of this dream-token motif (again, see S I 1990 LaBERGE, above).
  • C's Notebook entry 4287 is traced by Notebook editor Coburn to its source in C's reading in 1815-16: she quotes the German original from the anthology, Geist oder Chrestomathie (1801), by Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, 1763-1825). On the reprint's back cover is this excerpt from a review in Time: "First, think of a beginner's guide to [3,000 years of] philosophy, written by a schoolteacher. . . . Next, imagine a fantasy novel--something like a modern-day version of Through the Looking Glass. Mold these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international bestseller . . . a runaway hit . . . [a] tour de force." The praise is deserved!

[S II.1 1991] JOHNSTON, Brian. The Dutch Treat Murders: A Winston Wyc Mystery. NY: Pinnacle Books, Windsor Pubg Corp (1991). 256 pp.

  • Woman in wheelchair introduces her attendant as "my engine and my albatross" (pp 61, 83).

[S II.1 1991] PEARS, Iain. The Titian Committee. NY: Berkley Prime Crime (1991). 230 pp.

  • Flavia "shunned the public water bus into the city [Venice] and settled herself into the back of one of the long, varnished motor taxis that ply their trade between the airport and the main island. . . . The driver . . . paid her little attention . . . . The other occupant [the driver's father, a former gondolier] was much more inclined to pass the time of day. Had Fellini ever decided to film The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, this was the man for the title role. His face was a piece of old driftwood, and his age, if uncertain, was definitely over seventy. He was short, grizzled beyond imagining . . . . Old men like to talk, like the company of the young, and besides, his curiosity [about Flavia and what she planned to do in Venice] was so intense that it could not possibly be objectionable" (pp 12-13).
  • Discovered by Sandra L Burns.

[S II.1 1991] PICKARD, Nancy. I.O.U. NY: Pocket Bks (1991). 209 pp.

  • "The Port Frederick Main Library, located near the downtown square, had long been a favorite place of mine . . . . It was a place where seagulls roosted in the eaves, looking as if they'd flown out of the pages of 'The Ancient Mariner,' and where drafts straight out of Wuthering Heights whistled through the cracks" (p 55). Cf The RAM 67-8 ("It ate the food it ne'er had eat, / And round and round it flew") and 75-6 ("In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, / It perched for vespers nine.").
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1991] STEWART, Mary. The Stormy Petrel. NY: Morrow (1991). ix, 176 pp. Il.

  • Narrator Dr Rose Fenemore, 27, English tutor at Haworth College in Cambridge, writes poetry (and science fiction). Writing a poem, she is interrupted by two of her students, young women (who figure in the story later): "I said 'Come in,' sat them down, listened and then talked and finally got rid of them and went back to my poem. It had gone. The first stanza lay there on my desk, but the idea, the vision had fled like the dream dispelled by C's ill-starred person from Porlock" (p 2). She decides to go to a tiny cottage on a barely populated 9-by-5-mile island, Moila, in the Hebrides to write in solitude and to be joined later by her doctor brother Crispin who wanted to photograph birds there. The first morning there is too misty for sightseeing: "I was not disappointed, I told myself so firmly, several times. I had all that I had wanted, peace and privacy, a day to myself before Crispin came, and an absolute compulsion to stay indoors and take another look at the poem that had been broken into by the tutorial in Cambridge. I would look at it again, and see if it had been totally destroyed. At least no person from Porlock was likely to interrupt me today" (p 24).

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[S II.1 1992] ATHERTON, Nancy. Aunt Dimity's Death. NY: Penguin Bks (1992). 244 pp.

  • Narrator Lori: "I had become so caught up in the give and take of our ‘conversation' that I had temporarily forgotten what was actually taking place. In fact, I had pretty much lost touch with reality altogether. . . . I was communicating with the dead Aunt Dimity, whose answers to Lori's questions appear in handwriting on pages of Lori's journal. Lori asks about her mother, Dimity replying ‘I haven't seen Beth yet. . . . She's gone ahead.' ‘But you'll catch up with her, won't you?' I hope so. A sigh breezed through the room. You see, Lori, things are a bit muddled. A bit muddled? Was that what they meant by British understatement? My suspension of disbelief was about to snap. . . . The handwriting stopped. ‘Hello?' I said. ‘Are you still there? Can you hear me?' Nothing more. I stared at the page until my head swam" (pp 122-3).
  • Discovered by Sandra L Burns.

[S II.1 1992] HESS, Joan. Maggody in Manhattan. NY: Onyx Books (1992). 245 pp.

  • Gaylene Feather tells Arly Hanks and Geri about her career: "'I am a dancer. . . . I'm now appearing nightly at the Xanadu, which is named after a fancy hotel in a poem'" (p 77).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1992] ROE, C F. A Torrid Piece of Murder. NY: Signet (1992). 247 pp.

  • "Duncan closed his eyes and tried to pray, but even in his fear and panic, he felt like the ancient mariner who was unable to pray after killing the albatross, because a wicked whisper came, and made his heart as dry as dust" [The RAM 246-7] (pp 196-7).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1992] STACEY, Susannah [pseud of Jill Staynes and Margaret Storey]. The Late Lady. NY: Pocket Bks (1992). 247 pp.

  • [The crime must have have occurred at Paleys.] Narrator Robert Bone, after solution of crime, drives past Paleys with his new bride Grizel, on their way to their wedding. "No AM had come to stop the car and he felt, as they came to Paleys and drove past, that a cloud was lifting, that something was being exorcised. . . . Bone, smiling, drove on to Hastings with his good luck at his side [last sentence of book]" (p 247).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

1 9 9 3

[S II.1 1993] GRAFTON, Sue. "J" is for Judgment. NY: Henry Holt (1993). 288 p.

  • Narrator asks Eckert about Wendell and his boat that was found adrift unmanned: "'He didn't have a crew?' // 'He preferred to [sail] single-hand. I watched him sail that day. Orange sky, orange water with a slow, heaving swell. Had this weird feeling to it. Like the RAM. You study that in high school?'" // I shook my head. 'In high school, most of what I studied was cussin' and smokin' dope'" (p 81).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1993] LAKE, M D. Murder by Mail. NY: Avon Books (1993). 245 pp.

  • Narrator Peggy says to Paula, "'Poems are made by fools like you, but only I could find'" the clue she just found when she quoted The RAM 284-5. Paula had asked, "'What's that supposed to be?'" and Peggy replied: "'Coleridge, . . . . "RAM," the poem he was writing when his neighbor came to borrow a cup of potato chips to sprinkle on the tuna casserole. He lost the thread and was never able to find it again. But---as you can hear---I can still recite a couple of snatches of it, which means it must be pretty famous, even if it's incomplete'" (p 202). Either the author or the character Peggy has confused The RAM with KK.
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1993] ROSENBERG, Nancy Taylor. Mitigating Circumstances. NY: Signet Bks (1993). 416 pp.

  • "When she had been scared and afraid, [her husband] John was devoted, loving, supportive. When she broke through the wall of fear and became a confident professional, with a career, a future, a mind of her own, John's love disappeared. . . . John was pulling her down, an albatross around her neck" (pp 36-7).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1993] SMITH, Julie. Jazz Funeral. NY: Ivy Bks (1993). 347 pp.

  • Detective Margaret Landon tells Steve what she has found out about wealthy star Nick Anglime: "'Well, he lives in a baronial manor. . . . It's fabulous. It's a sultan's palace.' 'It's got some harim , I bet' [says Steve]. 'I don't know [she replies]. He might be an ascetic in some ways.' 'I beg your pardon? [he retorts]. The guy's living in a stately pleasure dome.' 'Well, that's it--it's stately [she replies]. More sedate than anything else. He's got kids living there too" (pp 130-1). Etc.
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1993] STABENOW, Dana. Dead in the Water. NY: Berkley Bks (1993). 201 pp.

  • Kate was alone on the "icy and treacherous" deck of the Avilda, drifting dead in the water of a rough northern sea. The spray froze as it struck the boat, the layer of ice growing ever thicker. Almost exhausted, she continued to wield a bat, rhythmically, to break off the ice. "The engine coughed once, hesitated for one eternal moment and again picked up the beat [of her pounding bat]. . . . Cadence. Meter. Stress. Poetry. In another life she used to read poetry. What poetry did she used to read? . . . Words finally came. 'The ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around' [The RAM 59-60]. The words of the AM sprang unbidden to mind and Kate shook her head doggedly" (p 123). She continues to beat off the ice to the rhythms of other poems.
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1993] WRIGHT, Eric. Death by Degrees. Toronto: Worldwide (1993). 251 pp.

  • Salter's old father is in bed ill, being read to by Salter's son Seth. "The words rolled along, rhythmically, formally: 'The fair breeze flew, the white foam flew, / [sic] The furrow followed free; / We were the first that ever burst / Into that silent sea' [The RAM 103-6]. // . . . // [Thought Salter:] 'The AM.' The only poem his father respected, and from which he could quote, more or less accurately, many stanzas, learned as a project in a Cabbagetown school sixty years before. His father's store of literature. // . . . But it took Seth to know that the way to comfort his father was to read him his favourite poem. Why hadn't Salter known that?" (p 117).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

1 9 9 4

[S II.1 1994] KARON, Jan. At Home in Mitford [above title: "The Mitford Years"]. NY & L: Penguin Books (1996), 31st printing. ix, 9-446 pp. Ild by drawings [not credited]. Map. Paper. First pub in USA by Lion Pubg 1994.

  • Subtle Coleridge allusion: "'Spring,' said the local gardening column in the Muse, ‘is slowly climbing the mountain to Mitford, wearing a frock of morning mist, and carrying an armful of forsythia. She is shod with ivy and dandelion, and her hair is entwined with sprigs of wolfbane. Unfortunately, she is easily distracted and often interrupts her journey to tarry upon a bed of moss, where she sleeps for days on end.' // Laughing, Father Tim put the newspaper down and walked to his open bedroom window. Hessie Mayhew [writer of the gardening column] had been reading Coleridge again!" (pp 296-7).
  • Specific C sources not found in C Concordance (1940--C3718) nor in selected volumes of the CC. The passage is not a quotation or paraphrase of C: Father Tim knows that Hessie loves C's poetry and believes that C's feelings for nature, including his love of Spring shown in short passages in his poems, are reflected in Hessie's purple prose.

[S II.1 1994] PALMER, Michael [S]. Natural Causes. NY: Bantam Bks (1994). Rpt 1995, ix, 465 pp.

  • "Xanadu . [Investigator] Matt knew the name came from a mystical, magical land in some poem--one that he had once been forced to study and, it seemed, even memorize. // In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure dome decree . . . sic] // His mind's eye saw the words printed in an even hand on some teacher's blackboard. Milton ? Wordsworth? Maybe Coleridge. He simply could not remember the author. Nor could he remember anything else of the poem. The image, though, of Peter Ettinger as Kubla Khan was not a hard one to conjure" (p 406). Xanadu, described (pp 405-7) with KK-like imagery, is complete with forest and man-made lake lined with sumptuous homes. The site of Dr Peter Ettinger's Institute of Holistic Healing, it is the source of the herbal product marketed for millions as the Ayurvedic Herbal Weight Loss System. Mayhem and murder try unsuccessfully to foil efforts to prove who is responsible for this herbal product that kills pregnant women undergoing labor.
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns. Gift to CCC from Agnes Yamada.

[S II.1 1994] PETERSON, Audrey. Death Too Soon. NY: Pocket Bks (1994). ix, 276 pp.

  • "To Nora, Frieda probably looks too old to matter and Barry could stand in for the AM" (p 60).

[S II.1 1994] ROBERTS, Gillian. How I Spent My Summer Vacation. NY: Ballantine Bks (1994). 233 pp.

  • Garrulous name-dropper Georgette "peered at Mackenzie" and asked the narrator, "'This your husband?' I shook my head. . . . 'Husbands don't last,' Georgette said. 'My Kurt died.' She seemed still surprised by the loss. 'Went like that.' She tried to snap her fingers, but the cut-off gloves got in the way. // The Ancient Mariness was at it again, schlepping out her story at the slightest--or no--provocation" (p 109).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1994] YOLEN, Jane, ed. Xanadu 2. (A Tom Doherty Associates Bk) NY: TOR (1994). 285 pp.

  • A set of 26 hitherto unpublished fantasy short stories and poems similar to those in Xanadu (1993). In the preface, titled "Xanadu--After You" (pp 9-10), the editor quotes from C's account of the origin of KK--"in which the fantasy world of Xanadu was first created"--including Purchas's lines quoted by C. "Out of such mundane and ordinary things great poetry and grand stories arise." But knowing something of what prompted these stories and poems "might make as little difference to your reading of" them as knowing that C by his own account was" a slothful dreamer. "In other words he was an early couch potato. / As for his famous poem, to some it is a masterpiece, to others hogwash and hot air. C often provoked that response in people." Recounts the anecdote about a two-hour C monologue of which neither Samuel Rogers nor W understood a syllable. "For my own part, I can't stand W. And that's what makes horse races, folks."

1 9 9 5

[S II.1 1995] DENTINGER, Jane. Who Dropped Peter Pan? A Jocelyn O'Roarke Mystery. NY: Viking Penguin (1995). Rpt NY: Penguin Books (1996), ix, 274 pp.

  • O'Roarke recalls her first viewing of Peter Pan as a six-year-old. "When C wrote of 'that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith,' he hadn't been thinking of kids. A six-year-old, at least in Jocelyn's day, had very little disbelief to suspend. Josh had had none." Even when her father "explained the workings of flywires and body harnesses," she "still wanted the magic" (pp 18-19).
  • Gift to the CCC from Agnes Yamada.

[S II.1 1995] GIRDNER, Jaqueline. A Stiff Critique. NY: Berkley Prime Crime (1995). 263 pp.

  • Mave claims that when she was a child she met a famous feminist, but Nan reminds her that she wasn't old enough. Mave admits, "'Maybe I'm not old enough to have met Phoebe Mitchell, but my mother talked about meeting her so often it was as if I had too.' . . . '"The Fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space"' [BL XIII (CC) I, 305], she recited softly. 'S. T. C wrote that. Mighty fine words and a mighty fine meaning in my opinion.' . . . 'Oh, I know exactly what C meant!' Donna added her unconditional support. 'It's like reality has all these incredibly different continuums, you know. Who's to say which one is real?'" (p 80). [A unique C allusion in fiction.]
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1995] LACKEY, Mercedes. The Fire Rose. NY: Baen Bks (1995). 433 pp.

  • Among Cameron's several gardens "There was what she privately thought of as the Pleasure Garden, after the gardens mentioned in the poem 'KK' by C. This was a place of nooks and bowers, artificial grottoes and other places suitable for romantic tete-a-tetes, all planted around with bushes of fragrant leaves or flowering vines, all planned in such a way that each was invisible to the next or the one behind. . . . Cameron had walls around the gardens, but they were decorative rather than functional" (p 174).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1995] STABENOW, Dana. Play with Fire. NY: Berkley Prime Crime (1995). 282 pp.

  • "'You think it's easy being a Catholic?' Dinah demanded [of Kate and Bobby]. 'It requires sacrifice and devotion. It requires a willing suspension of disbelief [BL 14], a true leap of faith. I believe in the sacrament. . . . I didn't stop going to church because I stopped believing'" (p 110).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

1 9 9 6

[S II.1 1996] BANKIER, William. "The Price of the Midnight Dancing." EQMM (Jy 1996), pp ??-??.

  • "Theme music played--the cool tumble of the electric piano that was popular in the seventies. Then the voice of Denny Pelt selling the passenger services of Canadian National Railways. 'Yes, Kubla Khan himself would relax in the stately pleasure dome of a Coleridgean train as it rolls through the heart-stopping grandeur of the Rocky Mountains . . . [sic]" (p 66).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1996] BENISON, C C. Death at Buckingham Palace. NY: Bantam Bks (1996). ix, 273 pp.

  • Narrator Jane Bee, 20-year-old housemaid at the palace, helps the Queen solve a murder. She is sent to "the offices of Cholmondeley & Featherstonehaugh, the Queen's Solicitors," to obtain information. She is greeted by Sir Arthur Featherstonehaugh, who, upon hearing her name, begins to spout quotations about bees, among them C's Work without Hope 1-6: "He eyed me slyly. 'Coleridge. Do you know that one?' I shook my head. 'Pity'" (p 104).
  • Gift to CCC from Agnes Yamada.

[S II.1 1996] DAHEIM, Mary. Auntie Mayhem. NY: Avon Bks (1996). 268 pp.

  • Renie and Judith walk past houses "bearing discreetly lettered names such as 'River's Bend,' 'The Willows,' and 'Xanadu'" (p 131).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1996] GRAFTON, Sue. M is for Malice. NY: Henry Holt (1996). xi, 244 pp.

  • Southern California private eye Kinsey Millhone, looking for clues to missing manuscript, visits home of dealer Paul Trasatti. In the living room she scans the array of Sotheby's catalogs. Then, "I strolled the perimeter, taking in numerous framed letters and autographs. Laurence Sterne, Franz Liszt, William Henry Harrison . . . . There was a long, incomprehensible letter bearing the signature of S. T. C, and some kind of receipt or order blank signed by George Washington" (p 206).
  • Discovered by Eileen Lothamer.

[S II.1 1996] HILL, John Spencer. Ghirlandaio's Daughter. NY: St Martin's P (1996). 239 pp.

  • Cecilia Hathaway, 65, "remembered the time . . . she'd climbed to the top of Porlock Hill and retraced the steps of W and C along the Channel coast" (p 26).
  • "The vaulted interior of the cathedral took Penny Morgan's breath away . . . . The experience of stepping into its cool interior from the sunlit piazza was like that of being transported from ordinary time into some fabulous realm of the imagination--into Xanadu or Aladdin's cave" (p 72).
  • At the end of Part I (pp 92, 98, 100-01), the author uses images echoing or reversing those in Christabel 2-3, 16-20 to enhance the eerie atmosphere of a crucial several-page moon-lit night-time episode marked by threats and danger. On the San Felice estate, resident Nigel Harmsworth, 72, rifle loaded, "settled back to wait" for an expected interloper as yet unknown to him. "The night was full of sounds. . . . [S]omewhere in the chestnut woods a night-bird [Christabel 2, "owls"] called to its mate: Tu÷whit ! Tu÷whoo! [same hyphenated spelling as in Christabel 3] Overhead, in pristine majesty, the moon sailed among scattered clouds [compare Christabel 16-19: the moon behind "the thin gray cloud" is "at the full; / And yet she looks both small and dull"] attended in her passage by the winking rush-lights of a million stars" (p 92). As he sneaks through the estate, Peter Morgan hears "somewhere in the distance a lonely night-bird call to its mate: Tu÷whit ! Tu÷whoooo! A long, drawn-out eerie sound" (p 98). When Nigel hears him approaching and challenges him, Peter hears "in the distance the eerie night-bird call again, and the sound hung in the air like an omen: Tu÷whit ! Tu÷whoooo!." Peter's threats are ineffective, and when Nigel fires two shots in Peter's direction, Peter decides that "he needed a new strategy--and he needed it fast. / In the distant darkness the night-bird renewed its mocking call: Tu÷whit ! Tu÷whoooo! Tu÷whit! Tu÷whoooo!" Peter withdraws (pp 100-01).
  • Hill is also author of A Coleridge Companion: . . . (1983--C6507).
  • Reviewed by John Apostolou in Armchair Detective, 30, no 3 (Ja-Mr 1997), 348c.

[S II.1 1996] LEHANE, Dennis. Darkness, Take My Hand. NY: Avon (1996). 355 pp.

  • Narrator Patrick speculates with Angie about the killer's motive: "In Othello, Iago states, ‘All guiltless meet reproach.' Several scholars argue that this is the very moment in which Iago passes from a criminal with motive into a creature beset by what C called ‘motiveless malignancy'" (p 236).
  • Later, Patrick and his friend Phil, Angie's ex-husband, talk about her. Phil argues, "'Angie can't say good-bye, so she'll work hard to keep me in her life.' // ‘And?' // ‘And I won't let her. I'm an albatross around her neck'" (p 242).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1996] PADGETT, Abigail. Moonbird Boy. NY: Mysterious P (1996). 259 pp.

  • One guest in a licensed psychiatric facility is "known only as Old Ayma. Crusty Old Ayma, the facility's current albatross. . . . Old Ayma was a walking stereotype of mental illness" (p 8).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

1 9 9 7

[S II.1 1997] BRAUN, Lilian Jackson. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief. NY: Putnam's Sons (1997). 244 pp.

  • Lynette tells Qwilleran about radio weatherman Wetherby Goode who spouts quotations: "'After an ice storm he quoted from The RAM. One of his listeners had sent it in: The ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around. People are afraid he'll run out of quotes'" (p 36). Late in the story, Polly and Qwilleran hear the weatherman say, "'Come, gentle spring! ethereal mildness, come!' / 'Lynette would have loved that quotation,' Polly said to Qwilleran. / 'It sounds familiar. Who wrote it?' / 'Coleridge . . . [sic] I believe'" (p 237). [But the lines are not C's.]
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1997] CRIDER, Bill. Murder Takes a Break: A Truman Smith Mystery. NY: Walker, 1997. v, 185 pp,

  • "Truman Smith, the reluctant Galveston p.i." (jacket flap), drives to Houston in search of a possible witness to the crimes. "As it happened, the Peavys lived on Coleridge, whose name always reminded me of 'The RAM,' portions of which, for some reason . . . , had been stuck in my memory ever since my eighth-grade English class with Mrs. Morgan. . . . After all, what possible good was it that I remembered the two lines that said, 'Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs upon the slimy sea'? I was sure Mrs. Morgan would have been proud of me for recalling it, though" (pp 76-7). [Another reference to reading The RAM in school.]
  • Later, back on Galveston Island, Smith goes to question Evelyn. "The streets in Evelyn's subdivision were all named for fish. I didn't know whether I'd rather live on a street named for a Romantic poet or a fish, but I was pretty sure that 'Tuna' didn't have the same prestige as 'Coleridge.' Maybe it all depended on your priorities" (p 98).
  • Smith goes again to the Peavys on Coleridge when he is about to solve the murder mystery (p 172).
  • Gift to the CCC from Agnes Yamada.

[S II.1 1997] DUNN, Carola. "The Aunt and the Ancient Mariner." In A Bride's Bouquet [with stories by Cathleen Clare, Mona Gedney, and Jenna Jones]. NY: Zebra Bks, Kensington Pubg Corp (1997). Pp 95-154. A Regency Romance.

  • In her first London season, young Georgina begs her beautiful 36-year-old widowed aunt Chloe to come up from the country to help her, because her father means to force her to marry "an elderly gentleman." When Chloe first meets him, baronet Sir Lionel Tiverton turns out to be a 40-year-old tall, dark, and handsome former Navy captain. When Chloe says that Georgina refers to him as "an elderly gentleman," he says that by failing to reveal his history, "'she wasted the opportunity to inform you she was to wed the Ancient Mariner'!" (The epithet appears on pages 110, 122, 123, 154.) On a later occasion, they quote W's "I wandered lonely as a cloud" to each other, after which she remarks, "'C's AM, and now W! I should not have supposed sailors to be great readers.' / 'It is not uncommon. I claim no particular merit. We have long hours at sea with little choice of occupation'" (p 126). Later, discussing their mutual preference for country life over London life, he says: "'Both are distinctly different from life on a warship, which tends to be long periods almost "As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean' [The RAM 117-18], rudely interrupted now and then by tempests and battles'" (p 133). On another occasion, they set out to ride though it may rain: "'"Water, water, everywhere,"' he intoned, mounting. As they set off . . . he went on, '"Nor any drop to drink" [The RAM 121-2]. Probably C's best known lines, yet elsewhere in the same poem he writes charmingly of "merry minstrelsy" [The RAM 36] and music like an angel's song [The RAM 365]'" (p 143). On the last pages they confess their love, Chloe declaring: "'I love you. I believe it was when you first described yourself as the Ancient Mariner'."

[S II.1 1997] STRONG, Marianne. "Wedding Blues." EQMM (S-Oc 1997), ?-138.

  • "'Damn,' [Detective] Stan said. [Suspect] Walter [Korski] had given himself a decent alibi. The [Korski] family would have their albatross yet [i.e., continue to have their albatross Walter]. Stan slumped in his chair, then straightened up. Unless luck was on their side. '[Deputy] Jim, get me the traffic citations for Saturday'." Checking on that record of citations enabled Stan to solve the murder mystery (p 138).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

1 9 9 8

[S II.1 1998] ATHERTON, Nancy. Aunt Dimity Digs In. NY: Viking (1998). 275 pp.

  • "Behind a small brown door at the rear of the shop, however, lay a realm so vast and wondrous that Bill had dubbed it Xanadu. Few travelers had roamed its byways and lived to tell the tale, but Peggy seemed to have a map tattooed upon her wrist. From its depths she'd extracted, on demand: sun hats, gumboots, strange elixirs to ward off colds, fishing poles, freckle cream, cricket bats, puce-colored thread, and the vicar's favorite brand of tinned prawns. The merest glimpse of Xanadu's shadowed aisles had convinced me that Peggy's shop was very much like Peggy: a facade of normalcy concealing the unfathomable" (p 72). Emma Harris comes in, narrator asks her to walk with her in the garden, and they go out. Emma says, "'I've brought first aid for your stricken husband [Bill]: . . . . 'Homemade thyme honey and strawberry leaf tea. Harris's patented cure for hangovers.' // 'Bless you,' I said. 'I wouldn't trust anything Peggy Kitchen [sic] dug out of Xanadu'" (p 103). A later description: "The main aisle was so narrow that Peggy had to negotiate it sideways, the floor so crowded that Mr. Weatherhead had to hunt for spaces in which to plant his cane. Xanadu was magnificent, a hoard beyond description" (p 254).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1998] BOYLE, T Coraghessan. "I Dated Jane Austen." LATimes Book Review (25 Oc 1998), 4, 9.

  • Allusions to Lyrical Ballads and to "Coleridge's cult of artifice."
  • "Her hands were cold. She held them out for me as I stepped into the parlor," having called to take her to the cinema. He finds her with her brothers, sister, and father, the Reverend Austen. / "One of the brothers had just made a devastating witticism at the expense of the "Lyrical Ballads" and was still tittering over it. . . . I glanced at my watch: only 17 minutes since I'd stepped in the door. / . . . There really wasn't much room for Cassandra in the Alfa Romeo, but the Reverend and his troop of sons insisted that she come along. . . . / The film was Italian, in black and white, full of social acuity and steamy sex. . . ." It becomes too much for Jane, who asks to leave. / They go to a nightclub, the Mooncalf. Jane does not want to dance. / Dancing with Cassandra, the narrator sees "that a man in fierce black sideburns and mustache had joined Jane." A moment later he was gone. / Asked who he is, Jane replies, "'Just an acquaintance'." / On their return home, the narrator is "startled to see the mustachioed ne'er-do-well from the Mooncalf." / Jane grins at the narrator: "'Mr. Boyle,' she said. 'Have you met Mr. Crawford?'" The men shake hands / and take seats, but the narrator feels that something is wrong: "the brothers were not their usual witty selves, the Reverend floundered in the midst of a critique of C's cult of artifice . . . . In the corner, Crawford was holding a whispered colloquy with Jane," whose cheeks are flushed. "It was then that it came to me. 'Crawford,' I said, getting to my feet. 'Henry Crawford?' / . . . . I'd like a word with you outside.' . . . / 'You cad, I said, shoving him back a step, 'how dare you come sniffing around after what you did to Maria Bertram in "Mansfield Park"?'" / Crawford challenges the narrator to a duel: "'Tomorrow morning, at dawn,' he hissed." / "I was greeted by silence in the parlor. . . . [Jane] led me through the parlor and down the hall to the front entrance. . . . / 'I've had a memorable evening,' she said . . . . Do come again. / And then she held out her hands. / Her hands were cold." (The End)

[S II.1 1998] DOBSON, Joanne. The Northbury Papers. NY: Doubleday (N 1998). Rpt NY: Bantam (Ag 1999). xii, 335 pp.

  • Narrator Karen Peletier is Assistant Professor of English at New England's prestigious Enfield College. Department head Miles Jewell speaks to her sympathetically about murdered poet Gerry Novak. "Miles shook his head. 'Tragic, just tragic.' // 'Tsk,' I said. And did you know he hung out with druggies and lowlifes? But why should I tarnish Miles's fantasies? And besides, the two faces of Gerry Novak were by no means incompatible. Novak might well have been both: a drug dealer and a brilliant poet. Who's to say an addiction to drugs precludes an addiction to language? According to literary legend, Samuel Coleridge was high on opium when he wrote 'Kubla Khan': . . . [quotes lines 1-5]. Not bad for a pothead" (1999, p 255).
  • Gift to the CCC from Agnes Yamada.

[S II.1 1998] LANGTON, Jane. The Face on the Wall: A Homer Kelly Mystery. NY: Viking, 1998. vii, 291 pp. 215 x 140mm. Ils by author.

  • Epigraphs chosen to intensify suspense and underscore the sinister: The RAM 224-7 (Chapter 6); The RAM 446-7, 450-1 (Chapter 56); KK 51-4 (Chapter 16).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

[S II.1 1998] ROBERTS, Gillian. Time and Trouble. NY: St Martin's P (1998). 358 pp.

  • Sally lives in Marin County, north of San Francisco, California. "'I'm too tired and too broke. I always feel like a pariah saying that in Marin. End of the rainbow, wealthiest county in the galaxy, or whatever. I feel like the Ancient Mariner: "water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" [The RAM 121-2]. Only it's money, money everywhere .?.?. [sic] except in my house'" (p 145).
  • Discovered by Sandra Lee Burns.

2 0 0 0

[S II.1 2000] IRVINE, Alexander C. "Rossetti Song." Fantasy & Science Fiction (Mr 2000), 103-18.

  • At widower Milt's request, widower Frank finds a record with the "Five and Dime" group's rendition of Christina Rossetti's song beginning "One day she lay and could not sing, nor raise her lips to mine." He puts it in the juke box in his bar, Frank's Place. "'Why is this song so important to you, Milt?'' I asked. // He hesitated, but only for a second. ‘Because my wife died here while it was playing. . . . I remember humming along with the tenor over the melody line,' Milt went on, ‘and right at the words "raise her lips to mine" she put a hand to her temple and just pitched over out of her seat. . . .' He said all of this as if he were the AM, doomed to repeat his tale of woe" (pp 110, 113).

[S II.1 2000] SLATER, Susan. Yellow Lies. Toronto: Worldwide (2000). 269 pp.

  • Julie Conlin and Ben watch Hannah and a realtor going all out in an effort to sell some old property. "'Julie Conlin is with Good Morning America.' Hannah was using her exceptionally cheery voice, Julie thought. ‘One of those perks of living in what has to be called a natural wonder, a center of antiquity,' the realtor chirped." Later Ben tells Julie, "Hannah's admitted to this place being an albatross." (pp 114-15).
  • Discovered by Sandra L Burns.

See also volume III, index 7, after 6655.

Title allusion and epigraph

  • The RAM 127-8 Steinberg, Janice, Death-Fires Dance 1996


  • Hirsch, M E, Dreaming Back 1993

Coleridge and the Lyrical Ballads

Biographia : willing suspension of disbelief

  • Browning, Sinclair, The Sporting Club 2000

The novels and short stories

Kubla Khan

Kubla Khan: pleasure dome

  • Roberts, Les, The Indian Sign 2000

Kubla Khan: Xanadu

  • Rothenberg, Rebecca S, "Locoweed," EQMM (Mr 1994)

Kubla Khan: specific lines

  • 1-2 Moore, Christopher, Coyote Blue 1994


The RAM: albatross as burden, encumbrance, nuisance

  • Arnold, Margot, The Catacomb Conspiracy 1991
  • Asimov, Isaac, Nemesis 1989
  • Benke, Patricia D, False Witness 1996
  • Cleary, Melissa, First Pedigree Murder 1994
  • Daheim, Mary, Fowl Prey 1991
  • Engel, Howard, A Victim Must Be Found 1988
  • Gosling, Paula, A Running Duck 1978
  • Hager, Jean, Ravenmocker 1992
  • Henry, Sue, The Sleeping Lady 1996
  • Jance, J A, Lying in Wait 1994
  • McGarrity, Michael, Serpent Gate 1998
  • Padgett, Abigail, Moonbird Boy 1996
  • Page, Jake, The Lethal Partner 1996
  • Trainor, J F, Corona Blue 1994
  • Walters, Minette, The Ice House 1992
  • Wren, M K, Dead Matter 1993
  • Wren, M K, King of the Mountain 1994

The RAM: albatross as symbol of guilt

The RAM: albatross, dead bird compared to

  • Barnes, Linda, Blood Will Have Blood 1982

The RAM: wedding guest mesmerized by AM

  • Cross, Amanda, An Imperfect Spy 1995

The RAM: AM's eye: glittering (3,13), fixing (13-18, 228), bright (20,40)

  • Peterson, Audrey, Shroud for a Scholar 1995
  • Wodehouse, P G, PSmith in the City 1910

The RAM: ancient mariner as a garrulous, compulsive spellbinder (12-18, 37-8, 578-90)

The RAM: ancient mariner as an old person

The RAM: specific lines other than the above

  • 121-2 Daheim, Mary, Dune to Death 1993
  • 121-2 Hess, Joan, Death by the Light of the Moon 1992