Fanny Keats (1803-1889) was Keats’s younger sister. Sent to live with their guardian Richard Abbey’s family, she was deliberately separated from her brothers. Abbey did not allow visits and even discouraged letters. Nonetheless, Keats, always protective of his siblings, wrote often and visited when he could. But his illness prevented visits during his last months in England; he left for Italy without saying goodbye. In 1826, Fanny married a Spanish poet, Valentin Maria Llanos y Guieterrez, who had admired Keats and visited the poet just three days before his death. Fanny and her husband left England in 1833 and never returned. They lived in Italy from 1861-1864, where she became friendly with Joseph Severn.
In this letter, Keats discusses his illness and treatment.
My dear Fanny,
According to your desire I write to day. It must be but a few lines for I have been attack’d several times with a palpitation at the heart and the Doctor says I must not make the slightest exertion. I am much the same to day as I have been for a week past. They say ‘t is nothing but debility and will entirely cease on my recovery of my strength, which is the object of my present diet. As the Doctor will not suffer me to write I shall ask Mr Brown to let you hear news of me for the future if I should not get stronger soon. I hope I shall be well enough to co(me) and see your flowers in bloom-
Ever your most
Notes: Keats refers to changing his diet to normal food again.
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "John Keats Letter To Fanny Keats, 20 March 1820" https://englishhistory.net/keats/letters/fanny-keats-20-march-1820/, March 17, 2015