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Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography Hardcover – 2 Sep 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; First Edition edition (2 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393065731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393065732
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Mr. Plumly writes beautifully and very movingly.--Charles McGrath

A beautiful book. . . . [W]hen Plumly turns his laser-like gaze on Keats letters and his verse, the book is brilliant. --Nicholas Delbanco"

Mr. Plumly writes beautifully and very movingly. --Charles McGrath"

Plumly has written a book to last: worthy of its subject and commensurate with both words of its title. --Robert Pinsky" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

* STANLEY PLUMLY has written nine books of poetry. His many honours include the William Carlos Williams Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really excellent read. Approaches Keats and the 'Keats legacy' from a different direction that I found both intriguing and very enjoyable. It seems to me to be the sort of book that you could read several times and each time discover something new, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I re-read this recently and it was even better the second time around. Mourning Keats and recounting the memorialization of his achievement and open-hearted personality, it's not suitable as an introduction to the poet, but rather as an opportunity to wander through those dark last months and the beginnings of Keats's posterity.

It's a complex, sad tale - the "blue devils", the terrible crossing and quarantine outside of Naples, the disintegration of Keats's mind and all hope, the end of the poetry, the impossibility of ever seeing Fanny again. You need those moments when, out of patience with the inedible food, Keats deftly dispatches the spaghetti from the window of his coffin-like room; Severn tenderly placing wild flowers in the carriage taking Keats to Rome and to death; the poet's wit and fine language in his letter of refusal to Shelley prior to his departure...

Plumly's fine writing serves to intensify the reader's experience and to concentrate feeling. "For a month," Plumly writes, "it had not rained, each day the heat building into clouds from which nothing fell but heaviness and humidity" (p.99). Later: "To see as a poet, a true dreamer," he writes, "is to see as a healer and a knower" (p.182). Shelley's life is described as "about running, moving, disappearing" (p.98) while Trelawny - the butt of many a Romantic scholar's jokes - is characterised more humanely, as "ever inventive, always looking ahead" (p.102). Even consumption begins to sound beautiful when Plumly takes up his pen: "The lily or the snow or pale fire or the thin gray ash of the flesh withdrawn from the bone - these are some of the manifestations of the deadly consumptive illness that was known by many names" (p. 237).
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Format: Hardcover
I have had a weird obsession with Keats for 22 years. At the age of 15, when I was supposed to be reading Seamus Heaney in English, I flicked through the book and happened upon Keats instead. He looked so much more appealing in the picture and his tragic life captured my morbid 15 year old imagination. I have read several biographies, but in this book I have found the perfect way to revel in the delights of Keats, in everything about him that interests me - it's as if the writer has written it just for me! Part of my weird obsession involves getting in a time machine and meeting him [told you it was weird...] and I feel that this book is as close as I will get to that. It's almost certainly only for others equally obsessed though...My mother in law says she 'can't think of anything worse' to read...
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The writing is rich and I found it beautiful. It is written as a critique and analysis of Keats life. When I finished the book I re-read the Preface. In this, the author explains the intention of this personal biography - how he sees Keats life and death from his unique personal perspective. It is not a traditional biography written in a linear chronological manner, reliant on other extant biographies and studies of Keats. The structure of the book is circular rather than linear - each chapter formed from a single theme relative to Keats the individual and as a poet. It is not a book to be rushed. I learned a lot from the book and thoroughly recommend it.
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