John Taylor (1781-1864) was Keats’s publisher and friend. He provided financial assistance for Keats’s journey to Rome and briefly considered writing a biography of the poet after his death.
This letter is typical of Keats’s short notes to his publisher. In it, he discusses revisions to The Eve of St Agnes.
My dear Taylor,
In reading over the proof of St. Agnes’ Eve since I left Fleet street I was struck with what appears to me an alteration in the 7th Stanza very much for the worse the passage I mean stands thus
“her maiden eyes incline Still on the floor, while many a sweeping train Pass by–”
Twas originally written
“her maiden eyes divine Fix’d on the floor saw many a sweeping train Pass by–
My meaning is quite destroyed in the alteration. I do not use train for concourse of passers by but for [Skits is crossed out by Keats] Skirts sweeping along the floor.
In the first Stanza my copy reads–2nd line
“bitter chill it was”
to avoid the echo cold in the next line.
ever yours sincerely
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "John Keats Letter To John Taylor, 11 June 1820" https://englishhistory.net/keats/letters/john-taylor-11-june-1820/, March 6, 2015