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Complete Poems [Paperback]

J Keats
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 21.95
Price: 20.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 July 1982
Here is the first reliable edition of Keats's complete poems designed expressly for general readers and students. Upon its publication in 1978, Stillinger's "The Poems of John Keats" won exceptionally high praise: "The definitive Keats," proclaimed "The New Republic"--"An authoritative edition embodying the readings the poet himself most probably intended, prepared by the leading scholar in Keats textual studies." Now this scholarship is at last available in a graceful, clear format designed to introduce students and general readers to the "real" Keats. In place of the textual apparatus that was essential to scholars, Stillinger here provides helpful explanatory notes. These notes give dates of composition, identify quotations and allusions, gloss names and words not included in the ordinary desk dictionary, and refer the reader to the best critical interpretations of the poems. The new introduction provides central facts about Keats's life and career, describes the themes of his best work, and speculates on the causes of his greatness.

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Complete Poems + The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) + Lord Byron - The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 526 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 July 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674154312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674154315
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 13.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,329,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

John Keats was born in London in 1795. He trained as a surgeon and apothecary but quickly abandoned this profession for poetry.

His first volume of poetry was published in 1817, soon after he had begun an influential friendship with the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. His first collection and the subsequent long poem Endymion recieved mixed reviews, and sales were poor.

In late 1818 he moved to Hampstead where he met and fell deeply in love with his neighbour Fanny Brawne. During the following year Keats wrote some of his most famous works, including 'The Eve of St. Agnes', 'Ode to a Nightingale' and 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'.

He was however increasingly plagued by ill-health and financial troubles, which led him to break off his engagement to Fanny. Soon after the publication of Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems in 1820, Keats left England for Italy in the hope that the climate would improve his health. But Keats was by this time suffering from advanced tuberculosis, and he died on February 23rd 1821.

On his request, Keats' tombstone reads only 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water'.

Portrait (c) National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG 194
John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839)

Product Description


Stillinger's edition of Keats is the first completely authoritative text, superseding the texts of all previous editions.--W. J. Bate

About the Author

Jack Stillinger is Professor of English and a permanent member of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" 22 Mar 2000
A Spaniard, like I am, may not be the most accurate person to speak about English poetry. But considering my "amour fou" for W.B. Yeats, Lord Byron, Robert Browning and William Shakespeare, I think I can say one true statement: everyone should fall in love with Keats. He was probably the most uncultivated author of the whole History... but who minds about it, when his moody and sensitive soul has given us some of the lines which Oblivion could never waste.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Defintive edition- terrible conversion 5 Mar 2011
This review is for the kindle version of the book. One would think that Penguin might have put a minimum of effort into adapting such a seminal text for their kindle classics collection. However this looks as if they've taken the pdf and run it through a run of the mill generator. The biggest howler is that there is no table of contents, so you will have to use the search function or simply go from page to page until you find the poem you want. The second big problem with the conversion is that the poems are tabbed in such a way that the lines start off almost a quarter of the way across the page. So when viewing in the standard portrait mode most of the lines are cut off before their natural breaks.

I spent 9.99 hoping for a definitive, well put together collection of one of the greatest ever poets, only to end up with an ebook that I might as well have downloaded from Project Gutenberg for free. Much has been written about problems with poetry and ebook readers, but many independent publishers have paid attention to these issues and brought out beautiful poetry ebooks that are a pleasure to read. One would think that, considering the price, Penguin would have put as much thought in when bringing Keats to Kindle. Don't be fooled by the price, this is not a premium ebook, it is a cynical attempt by Penguin to demand more money than the paperback cover price while putting zero effort into the Kindle conversion. Buy the paperback or download a free or budget version.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Poems, edited by Jack Stillinger 23 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Stillinger's edition is generally considered the best text of Keats' poems -- the other scholarly edition being the one edited by John Bernard. How much do you need a scholarly text? Well, for the major poems (ie. the later ones -- the odes, 'To Autumn', perhaps the narrative poems, the Fall of Hyperion) all editions print pretty much the same text. If you're into Keats (and I'm horrified at the thought of someone even reading him who isn't!) then you'll want to read all of his poems -- which isn't hard, becuase he didn't live long enough to write many.
With these other poems, having a reliable edition becomes more rewarding. Many of these poems weren't printed in his lifetime, and so you rely on your editor to make a good choice about which is the most authentic manuscript version to print. Also some earlier editors decided to change Keats' wording. (See the version of 'In a drear-nighted December' in Palgrave's Golden Treasury, which includes the line "To know the change and feel it" -- the brainchild of an editor -- in place of Keats's very Keatsian "The feel of not to feel it".)
So five stars to Stillinger. (His book's also printed on that proper paper American books use.) Of course he doesn't have much interesting to say about the poems -- but what does that matter? His notes are kept at the back, where they should be, and explain allusions and dates as well as any edition.
I surely don't need to puff the poems themselves, as everyone who owns an anthology has read some. Sensuous, good-natured, passionate, sensitive -- anyone can think up adjectives that only dimly reflect the experience of reading these poems. (Keats's letters too are amazing, if you didn't know!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In praise of the editor! 13 Jun 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Confusingly, one of the above reviews castigates the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of Keats's Complete Poems. However that may be, the editor of the Harvard/Bellknapp edition is Jack Stillinger and I would like to praise the excellent work he has done here. He provides a concise critical introduction that answers the questions any reader is bound to pose about any major poet: what are his main themes/concerns? why is he considered 'great'? and what is distinctive about his writing? It is a tribute to Stillinger's work that, having read the introduction, I could hardly wait to re-read the familiar poems and become acquainted with those usually omitted from 'selections' and anthologies. His endnotes are also concise and illuminating. The paperback is strong and beautifully printed on quality paper. This is the edition of the poems to have.
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