Many of their works--such as Sophia Lee's Almeyda, Queen of Granada (1796), a tragedy set in Moorish Spain, Coleridge's fellow pantisocrat
Southey's Letters Written during a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal (1797), which was a result of his visit to those countries immediately following the failure of their jointly planned Pantisocracy, and Landor's oriental Gebir (1798), which was an attack on the Spanish prince Gebir's invasion and colonization of Egypt--came about the same time as Kubla Khan was being written.
Coleridge's "error in judgment" in marrying Sarah "will always remain a mystery," writes Taylor (21), before going on to cite Coleridge's letter to Southey written in December 1794 from London, where the rash Pantisocrat
was for all intents and purposes hiding out: "to marry a woman whom I do not love--to degrade her, whom I call my Wife, by making her the Instrument of low desire....
Her concurrence in Albert's revolutionary understanding of the institutions of Spanish Catholicism, her belief (like his) that revenge is a poor solution to oppression, mirrors the oneness of heart Coleridge had felt with Mary Ann Evans and the earnestness with which he urged amelioration of mind and heart on the female pantisocrats
. (53) It is no accident that Maria fantasizes herself as a bereaved Moorish woman while Albert, upon his secret return home, disguises himself as a Moor, and that she attempts to moderate the hatred of the Moresco widow, Alhadra, for her Christian persecutors, just as Albert refuses Alhadra's invitation to lead the Morescoes in a vengeful revolution.
Stung by the criticism, Southey provoked an argument with Coleridge, and their angry public tirade prompted onlookers to remark wryly that the two Pantisocrats
, who had vowed "to subdue all anti-social passions by the exercise of reason," had almost come to blows
Though he discusses novels by Smollett, Robert Bage, and Charlotte Smith, it is the poetry which really engages him; Southey, Coleridge, and their fellow Pantisocrats
may never have made the banks of the Susquehannah, but the effect of their research was deep and lasting.
It was this vision of utopia, concocted with his fellow poet and radical Robert Southey, that led to his dropping out of Cambridge for good and stumbling into an engagement, urged on him by Southey, with the sister of Southey's fiancee; the Pantisocrats
were supposed to emigrate in pairs.