In Xanadu did Kubla Khan … turn 200
In May of 1816, two of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most famous poems were published in London. Christabel and Kubla Khan – both unfinished fragments – were originally written around 1797. Coleridge had abandoned both poems, but fellow poet Lord Byron convinced him to publish them. The two poems appeared with a third, The Pains of Sleep.
Kubla Khan and Christabel, though panned by early critics, are some of Coleridge’s most admired and oft-studied works today. Special Collections owns the first American edition of the Christabel collection, which was published in Boston later in 1816.