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The Poetical Works (Oxford Standard Authors) Hardcover – Dec 1956

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition edition (Dec. 1956)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192541323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192541321
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,512,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful little books - beautifully illustrated & with lots of interesting information about the poet. I went for the full set.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and haunted poet 26 July 2005
By Mary E. Sibley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
John Keats was a romantic poet. A definition of romanticism is the renaissance of wonder. The second half of the eighteenth century saw the industrialization of England. Restlessness testified to social conscience. Keats was influenced by the visual arts. The English tendancy in painting is to be ethereal, sinuous, flowing, liquid. Keats existed in isolation. His brother Tom died at age nineteen. Leigh Hunt, a journalist, was immensely kind to Keats.

Fanny Brawne was not the only woman to whom Keats was attracted. He did not know Shelley well. Keats moved to London in 1815. He thought that Wordsworth lacked self-effacement. He wrote famously of negative capability. In 1819 he wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale', 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', 'Ode on Melancholy' and 'Ode to Indolence'. He braced himself for sneering reviews and suffered through poverty. He died in 1821.

Keats's letters are great. He had steadiness of purpose and confidence. He had a vivd sense that life is for living. He found all life is some way precious. He compared human life to a large mansion with many apartments. Spenser and Milton were potent influences on Keats's poetry.

The plot of 'Endymion' is confusing. Keats planned a sort of allegory. 'The Eve of St. Agnes' carried onviction. 'Hyperion' is in part about political and social revolution. Keats made a mistake, though, in attempting epic poetry. The poet painstakingly learned Italian to read Dante. 'La Belle sans Merci' is haunting. Keats drew on a body of experience enriched by his great intelligence and fine sensibility. In 'Ode to Autumn' Keats achieves perfection.

A bibliography and general index appear after the text of this excellent study.
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