This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book describes the biographical circumstances that take place in Coleridge's life. It traces the Biographia Literaria which record Coleridge's critical achievements and plans during the decade and represents something of a culmination of his critical thought. After his return from Germany in 1800, Coleridge's life was complicated by poverty, marital unhappiness and ill health. The constant pressure of having to make a living was hard on him. Coleridge always seems to have found working for hire a cramping business. His deepening commitment to metaphysics was more promising. It is evident that in some instances Coleridge is announcing projected works which his reading suggests to him he could write if he wanted to. Coleridge returned from Malta in the autumn of 1806, ailing, and faced once again with the problem of earning his living.