Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner"
Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" (1798), lines 451-56—with "who" substituted for "that" in line 451. (In the 1817 revision, the passage occupies lines 445-450.) The second direct allusion to this poem in the novel: the first occurs in Walton's second letter to Mrs. Saville (I:L2:6).
There is nothing odd about this, for Coleridge bore an unusual weight in the house in which Mary Godwin was raised. William Godwin, although separated from Coleridge on key matters of philosophy and theology, was deeply attached to him, calling him one of his four "oral instructors." Accordingly, Coleridge was a frequent guest in the Godwin household. Mary Shelley never forgot the experience of hearing Coleridge recite his "Rime" as she hid behind the sofa. Given Coleridge's brilliance in conversation, she may have imbibed more from her youthful encounters with him than a later time can ever know. Certainly, the implicit tribute accompanying her frequent allusions to him in the course of Frankenstein suggests a deep and personalized admiration.