John Keats: Table of Contents

This website is dedicated to the life and work of the great Romantic poet, John Keats. Born in 1795, Keats published three books of poetry in his lifetime but was dismissed as a middle-class interloper by most critics. He had no advantages of birth, wealth or education; he lost his parents in childhood, watched one brother die of tuberculosis and the other emigrate to America. Poverty kept him from marrying the woman he loved.  And he achieved lasting fame only after his early death in 1821. Yet grief and hardship never destroyed his passionate commitment to poetry. 

Reading Keats is a luxury, a rare chance to experience the English language as a work of art. Whether you are new to his work or a dedicated admirer, I hope you will enjoy visiting this website.

I've collected obvious things - poems and letters, biographies, etc - and lots of non-obvious things, such as original manuscript images and rarely-seen portraits. The goal was to condense a bookshelf worth of Keats into a website. That goal - of course - can never be achieved, but I'll keep trying. And a website isn't really a website until somebody visits it so.... thanks for visiting. -Marilee


'The great beauty of Poetry is, that it makes every thing every place interesting - '

John Keats to his brother George, 1819

 
 

silhouette of John Keats by Charles Brown, 1819

silhouette of John Keats in 1819 by Charles Brown;
this was given as a gift to Keats's sister, Fanny

 

 

 '[A]nd with respect to my livelihood I will not write for it, for I will not mix with that most vulgar of all crowds the literary.'
John Keats to BR Haydon, 1819

 

 

John Keats's sketch of the Sosibios Vase

John Keats's sketch
of the Sosibios Vase

 

 




NEWS: Keatsian News 
'John Keats in the news': updates to the site; new biographies, studies, exhibits, etc


Biographies: The Life of John Keats by Charles Armitage Brown
Brown was Keats's closest friend.  His Life of John Keats, revised and completed twenty years after the poet's death, offers unique insight into Keats's life.

John Keats: His Life and Poetry, His Friends, Critics and After-Fame by Sidney Colvin
This is the complete text of Colvin's 1917 biography of Keats.

Biography and Chronology by the webmaster


IMAGES: Portraits and Manuscripts:

Portraits of the poet, his family and friends.
Original manuscript images of Keats's poetry and letters.


Keats's Poetry and Letters 
updated and expanded


Writings about Keats and his poetry:
Contemporary Descriptions & Reminisces
Critical Opinion


'John Keats alias Junkets', Keats's signature from a letter to Leigh Hunt, 1817
'John Keats alias Junkets':  Keats's signature from a letter to Leigh Hunt, 1817


The Final Months:
Keats on his deathbed and his gravesite


Miscellaneous:
Joseph Severn's letters from Rome
These letters were written as Severn nursed Keats.  They are the definitive account of the poet's final months.
The nature of Keats's illness and the journey to Rome
His love affair with Fanny Brawne
Lord Byron on Keats


Why Read John Keats?  an introduction to the website

EMAIL send me questions / comments / the meaning of life, etc

 

Further Information:
Bibliography and Links

Works Inspired by Keats's Life and Poetry
The Bibliography and Works Inspired By.... pages are temporarily down while I rearrange them / make additions.  4/2013

Beyond the internet:
The Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome
The Keats House in London

silhouette of Keats by Marianne Hunt, 1820  

Silhouette of John Keats by Marianne Hunt.
This silhouette was made in 1820, while Keats recuperated at Leigh and Marianne Hunt's home.

But this is human life:  the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination's struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are still the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence, and to shew
How quiet death is.

from Endymion, Book II, l.153-159.

 

This site was created in 1996-97. Wow. It's still maintained by Marilee. Who feels kind of old right now.