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Selected Letters (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 16 May 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (16 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192840533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192840530
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Keats's letters represent one of the most sustained reflections on the poet's art. Yet apart from this, they are great works of literature in their own right, being written with gusto and sometimes a painful candour. Keats interweaves his personal plight with the history of a Britain emerging from the long years of the Napoleonic Wars into a world of political unrest, profound social change, and commercial expansion.

About the Author

John Keats was born in 1795, the son of a livery-stable keeper. An orphan by the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to a surgeon for a time, but gave up medicine for poetry. His luxuriant early work was famously savaged by the critics, but he remained assured in his conviction that he would eventually "be among the English poets," and his volume of 1820 was more favorably viewed. Keats's longed-for marriage to Fanny Brawne was prevented by the onset of the tuberculosis that killed him, at the age of twenty-six, in 1821.


Jon Mee was educated at Newcastle University and the University of Cambridge. After a Junior Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford, he took up his first permanent position at the Australian National University. He returned to the University of Oxford to take up the Margaret Candfield Fellowship in English at University College and a post in the Oxford English Faculty. He moved to the University of Warwick in 2007 and then took his current position as Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York in October 2013. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Format: Paperback
For lovers of Keats, his letters are in a way, the other side of the coin of his poetry. They not only throw a light on his personality, but as Rodriguez has shown in 'Book of the heart', they record the development of Keats' poetics. The range in content of the letters is amazing; they are like conversations: ideas for poems; personal matters and family concerns; and ideas about the imagination. Many sound anthologies of the poems contain selections from the letters, but to my knowledge there is only one complete edition available which is expensive, and there is not a complete set on the web. This OUP edition, edited by an acknowldged Keats authority, is more than a compromise solution to this apparent deficit: it is an essential edition - assuming you do not already have one that is - to a Keats library; whether the motivation is purely personal because you love Keats, or the motivation is pedagogic - teaching Keats per se; teaching the Romantics; teaching the genre of letters as an insight to the times...
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Format: Paperback
The selected letters of John Keats are an important part of literary history. They detail the poetic development of one of the most important poets in the Romantic movement and give insights into Keats's character beyond the poetry. They show Keats in private, and understanding Keats as a man is an important part of fully understanding Keats the poet.

This is a very good selection, with most of the appropriate scholarship to accompany the letters, and a fantastic introductory essay by Jon Mee discussing Keats's character and how he tried to present himself to different people. With close friends he was bawdy, and there are an abundance of sexual jokes and innuendo. With others like Fanny Browne he is sensitive and delicate. With others still he was businesslike and sober.

This selection covers a good range of letters to different people, and this collection becomes worth reading just for that, but it also vicariously tells Keats's story: those final years that gave us his best poetry. The only real problem with this selection is that it is too small. There are a great number of letters John Keats wrote that deserved to be included in this collection but are not. The reader will likely need some background information on the dates of Keats' life (poem composition dates especially) to properly appreciate this book. Also, there are sections of letters, or sections of poems in letters that have been removed, again, for no very good reason.

This book is certainly worth getting if you are interested in literary development, Keats's poetry, or even just the time period - these letters can be rich in contemporary detail - but it is obviously not for any reader: some 'before-reading' interest is required.
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Format: Paperback
These letters offer an insight into Keats life; from his poetic ideas to his apologies for late rent. Theres some great gems in here, but only buy if you are fascinated with - or learning about - Keats.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i got it in time. a fascinating little book about a great poet's way of thinking and communicating with the social world around him, his professional and personal life and an insight into a poet's shaping within the force of circumstances of his life
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92c1c3cc) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92a77f48) out of 5 stars A Remarkable Wordsmith 13 Oct. 2011
By Virginia Henkaline - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book and have browsed through Keats letters. He died at age 25 of TB. What a shame. The letters I have read so far are very touching. I bought, along with this, a book of his poems. I would recommend buying the both as I did.
HASH(0x92bd2d60) out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Feb. 2016
By Nash - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful work. I recommend!
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