This slim volume investigates the young Radical Coleridges Sonnets on Eminent Contemporaries in the context of classical rhetoric, genre transformation, democratic ideology and the political history of the Romantic Period. The Neoclassical critics of the Romantic poets, of Coleridge and Keats in particular, denied their Jacobin adversaries knowledge of Greek and Latin, and in fact of the whole Classical Tradition. They denigrated them as adventurous, traitorous, godless, low-born, uneducated innovators and dilettantes in art as well as politics, thus giving them a negatively defined group identity that does not stand up in the face of the facts. Coleridge was not a poet of higher social rank educated in a traditional English public school. Though born a pauper Coleridge had learned Greek and Latin at Christs Hospital (together with Charles Lamb and before Leigh Hunt), had read and even written Greek poetry, and had a better grounding in and knowledge of the Classical Tradition than many of his Tory critics and advocates of Romantic Period Neoclassicism. To Tory eyes he was a man from and friend of the people, a despicable revolutionary rabble-rouser from the gutter. But, like the other Romantics, Coleridge made free use of the Classical Tradition to conform to the Romantic ideals of originality and young genius.