THE passing of Samuel Taylor Coleridge on 25 July 1834 was deeply felt among the circle of his friends, but nowhere more keenly perhaps than in the household of Drand Mrs James Gillman at No. 3 The Grove, Highgate. For the last eighteen years of his life the Gillmans had acted not merely as his hosts but as his closest companions, friends, confidants and staunch admirers, providing him with the stable and comfortable home life that had till then so conspicuously been wanting (fig. i). Following the death of Gillman himself in June 1839 it was the chief consolation of his widow Anne to dwell on earlier days and to display her memorabilia of the sage of Highgate to visitors from as far afield as America.
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