Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21 1772 - July 25, 1834), British romantic poet ('The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'; 'Kubla Khan'), literary critic and politico-social activist.

Coleridge and the poet Robert Southey were brothers-in-law (they married two sisters, penniless like themselves). Southey went about his poetry with all the regularity of a bank clerk, while Coleridge would spend whole days in dreaming and desultory reading. A vicar's son, he dropped out of Cambridge and wandered the streets of London until destitute. He met Southey at Oxford and the two poets planned a utopian society based on what they called 'Pantisocracy', influenced in part by proto-anarchist William Godwin's An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice.

Coleridge started a newspaper called The Watchman, but it lasted only ten issues. He was friendly with William Wordsworth, with whom he stayed at Nether Stowey, where he composed much of the poetry for which he is justly famous.

The Wedgwood family of pottery magnates gave him funds to go to Germany to study. On his return he changed from a Revolutionist to a Conservative, and from a Unitarian to an English Churchman. He started a periodical, The Friend, but it ran for only 27 issues although its effect was felt on writers and philosophers from John Stuart Mill to Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was not of the right nature to run a periodical, with its deadlines; Coleridge tended to be disorganized and had no head for business, indicating that the publication was doomed from the start.