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19 For his 'Bed- and Book-room' (Plate 18) at The Grove, Coleridge chose an attic room with a commanding view 'over Southampton Farm, Kenn Wood, & Hampstead not surpassed within a hundred miles of London' (CL, v 335); and here, protected and encouraged by the faithful Gillmans, he wrote Aids to Reflection (1825) and On the Constitutz"on of the Church and State (1829). He also made plans and notes for a theological opus maximum which, although never completed, was the great hope of his declining years and consumed most of his intellectual energies during the last ten years of his life.
Laudanum did not bring relief but produced hallucinations and frightful nightmares from which he was awakened by his own screams 14 and the evils of the drug were intensified, not alleviated, by attempts to reduce his dosage. He was bound upon a wheel of fire and, baffled, knew not where to turn or what to do. Nor was opium the only problem. Sara Coleridge, whose family and friends 14 A Coleridge Companion were all in the South, was not happy at Keswick; and marital tensions, a serious factor since Coleridge's return from Germany, grew more pronounced and moved inexorably toward open hostility and a separation.
Sara Coleridge, whose family and friends 14 A Coleridge Companion were all in the South, was not happy at Keswick; and marital tensions, a serious factor since Coleridge's return from Germany, grew more pronounced and moved inexorably toward open hostility and a separation. Blame may be assessed on both sides. Mrs Coleridge, ill at ease with the Wordsworths and their circle, complained with justice that her husband spent more time at Grasmere than at Greta Hall and that he neglected his domestic responsibilities in order to cultivate his friendships.