Monday, July 9, 2007



John Keats

"The Complete Poems of John Keats" from the Modern library

John Keats was born in London 31 October 1795; he was the oldest of 5 children. He was 8 when his father was killed in a riding accident, his grand-father died 1 year later and his mother died of Tb when he was 14. He had a very good education at the Clarke school a private academy and he had a reputation at this time as a fighter. He studied to be a surgeons apprentice, he did pass the exam. At this time he started reading and writing poetry. His first poem was "An Imitation of Spencer", he then wrote the 4000 line "Endymion". His friends encouraged him but he was also criticized, the magazine entitiled "Blackwood's" said "he was ignorant and an unsettled pretender, he had no right to aspire to poetry." Keats traveled to Scotland continuing to write poetry, writing "Hyperion." His brother Tom died also of Tb. He fell in love with a Fanny Brawne, and was betrothed to her, but on the 3rd of February 1820 he suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage, this meant he had an advanced stage of Tb. He broke off his engagement, and then sailed to Italy hoping the milder climate would help. He died on 23rd February 1821 and was buried in Rome. On his tombstone at his request was written "here lies one whose name was writ in water."

John Keats was a principal poet of the English Romantic movement. After his death he was a great influence on Tennyson and others. Keats wrote with elaborate word choices, sensuality, and great imagery.