Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, critic and philosopher, a founding member of the Romantic Movement, and one of the Lake Poets. The youngest in a family of fourteen children, and an introverted, bookish child, Coleridge studied theology at Jesus College Cambridge before a meeting with Robert Southey in 1794 set him on a path of philosophy and poetry. He never completed his degree.
In 1795, Coleridge met William Wordsworth, who was to become another major influence on Coleridge's life and literary work, and in 1798 they collaborated on an experimental volume of poetry, "Lyrical Ballads". Considered to be the first great work of the Romantic movement, it includes one of Coleridge's most famous poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."