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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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.