Samuel Coleridge penned “Kubla Khan” after waking up from an opium-induced dream in which he experienced and imagined the realities of the great Mongol ruler’s capital city. Coleridge began writing what he remembered of his dream immediately upon waking from it, and intended to write two to three hundred lines. However, Coleridge was interrupted soon after and, his memory of the dream dimming, was ultimately unable to complete the poem.
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This edition reproduces all of the plates to perfection, in their original size. The illustrations and the text of the poem appear on facing pages, so that the imaginative kinship of Doré and Coleridge is delightfully evident on every page: the illustrations capture all the moods of the poem in their full intensity, bringing the images evoked by the words into clear visual focus.
Unabridged and slightly rearranged republication of the 1878 American edition. Text slightly amended to conform to the authoritative 1834 edition of the poem.
In the appendices to this Broadview edition, reviews, correspondence, and a selection of contemporary verse and prose situate the work within the popular and experimental literature of its time, and allow readers to trace the work’s transformations in response to the pressures of the literary marketplace.