Neil Rennie

‘There was a ship,’ quoth he

When Wordsworth and Coleridge were in their collaborative youth, walking one evening in 1797 on the Quantock Hills and contemplating something Gothic, Wordsworth suggested to Coleridge that the Ancient Mariner could be haunted by what he had just been reading about in Shelvocke’s Voyage Round the World — the killing of an albatross by a sailor rounding Cape Horn in 1719.

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