Adam Nicolson  The Making of Poetry - Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels

Brimming with poetry, nature and stunning woodcut illustrations this is a unique account of the year Coleridge and Wordsworth spent together in the Quantocks producing some of the most famous poems in the English language, dreaming of a world changed by poetry.

It is the most famous year in English poetry. Out of it came, The Ancient Mariner  and Kubla Khan, Wordsworth's revolutionary verses in Lyrical Ballads and the great Tintern Abbey.

Award-winning writer Adam Nicolson tells the story, almost day by day, poem by poem, of the year in the late 1790s that Coleridge, Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy and an ever-shifting cast of friends, dependants and acolytes spent together in the Quantock Hills in Somerset.

The Making of Poetry explores the idea that these poems came from this place. It is a portrait of great literary figures as young people, troubled, ambitious, dreaming of a vision of the world and struggling towards it. 

Adam Nicolson is the author of several books on great literature and place. He is the winner of the Wainwright, Ondaatje, William Heinemann and Somerset Maugham prizes and now lives in Sussex and Crete.

Adam Nicolson will be in conversation with Jason Goodwin.

Sponsored by Books Beyond Words

Listing Details

Friday 18th October, 6.00pm


Corn Exchange, High East Street

Ticket Prices

Adults: £10.00


Tickets will be on sale from 26th August.

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This Year's Events


Kate Adie's Desert Island Books was thoroughly enjoyable! I had no idea she was (a) so glamorous and (b) so delightfully funny.

Sue Slater
Feedback From 2016 Festival

I very much enjoyed the events I came to at the Dorchester  Literary festival. It was all very well organised. The sessions on The Seabird's cry, Bee Quest, and The Otter's Tale were brilliant. 

Helen Austin
Feedback From 2017 Festival

Thank you very much for having me to the festival and making me feel so welcome.

James Macdonald Lockhart
Feedback From 2016 Festival

Thank you for asking me to take part in the Hardy Today event. I enjoyed it very much.

Virginia Astley
Feedback From 2017 Festival

 I very much enjoyed the whole occasion, and want to thank you for all your hospitality.

Jamie McKendrick
Feedback From 2017 Festival

I thought the event had a really good feel to it - and people couldn't have been friendlier and more welcoming. Good luck with future events.

Adam Ockelford
Feedback From 2017 Festival

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