John Keats: A Poet and His Manuscripts

Overview

In his brief lifetime, John Keats (1795–1821) published just three volumes of poetry: a collection of early verse in 1817; Endymion, a long and fairly unsuccessful poem in 1819; and a final collection in 1820, which included most of the poems for which he is now famous. For many years these anthologies contained all that the public knew of Keats, but over time it has become readily apparent that an extraordinary wealth of manuscripts lay behind these few volumes.

John Keats: A ...

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Overview

In his brief lifetime, John Keats (1795–1821) published just three volumes of poetry: a collection of early verse in 1817; Endymion, a long and fairly unsuccessful poem in 1819; and a final collection in 1820, which included most of the poems for which he is now famous. For many years these anthologies contained all that the public knew of Keats, but over time it has become readily apparent that an extraordinary wealth of manuscripts lay behind these few volumes.

John Keats: A Poet and His Manuscripts presents, in chronological order, the surviving manuscripts of his finest poems and letters—often illustrated at actual size and in their entirety—providing a record of the poet’s visual processes of composition and offering a vivid portrait of his rich imagination and swift progress as a writer and thinker. Stephen Hebron, in his masterly introduction, offers the intriguing story of how Keats’s manuscripts were jealously guarded after his death, before they were finally bequeathed to public and private collections, revealing as much about the fame of the poet as the social and literary fashions of the past two-hundred years.

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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker

"The book, John Keats: A Poet and His Manuscripts, edited by Stephen Hebron, reproduces Keats’s manuscripts in large, yellowed facsimiles, accompanied by Hebron’s elucidation of their contents and portraits of the poet and his friends and family. A letter or manuscript receives its own section, and the result is Keats’s brief timeline mapped by the many occasions of his genius."--New Yorker Book Bench Blog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712349246
  • Publisher: British Library, The
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Hebron worked for many years at the Wordsworth Trust in Cumbria, England. He is the author of Wordsworth, Keats, and Romantics and the British Landscape, among other volumes.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
 
Collecting John Keats
 
Twenty-One Keats Manuscripts
   'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer'
   Letter to Benjamin Robert Haydon, 20 November 1816
   'This pleasant tale is like a little copse'
   'I stood tip-toe upon a little hill'
   Letter to Leigh Hunt, 10 May 1817
   Letter to Fanny Keats, 10 September 1817
   Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817
   Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 19 February 1818
   Letter to John Taylor, 27 February 1818
   Endymion
   'Hyperion'
   Letter to Richard Woodhouse, 27 October 1818
   'The Eve of St. Agnes'
   'The Eve of St. Mark'
   Letter to George and Georgiana Keats, February-May 1819
   'Ode to Psyche'
   'Ode on Melancholy'
   'Ode to a Nightingale'
   'To Autumn'
   Letter to Richard Woodhouse, 21, 22 September 1819
   Letter to Percy Bysshe Shelley, 16 August 1820
 
Further Reading
List of Manuscripts
Index

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