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The Wanderings of Cain, Edited by N. Santilli
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* This description in Bartram seems to have reminded Coleridge of the Valley of Rocks, a favourite destination on the walking tours when he was living at Nether Stowey in Somerset in 1797-98. The valley lies parallel to the coast of the Bristol Channel, which laps against its high columns of stone. In 1798 Coleridge took William Hazlitt there and told him that the valley had provided the setting for a prose tale to be written in the manner of Gessner's The Death of Abel. The work was planned in collaboration with Wordsworth (who also visited the place on several occasions) but it had been abandoned. It is clear that Coleridge is referring to The Wanderings of Cain. It seems that Coleridge is almost haunted by the grim landscape, which he recalls again years later in a notebook entry during his stay in Malta [CN II, 2202].

The Valley of Rocks, Devon UK.
(Photograph by Danielle Eubank, 2002)

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Published @ RC

May 2003