John Keats

A Poet and His Manuscripts

Stephen Hebron

John Keats
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Stephen Hebron

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176 pages | 100 color plates | 8 3/4 x 11 | © 2009
Cloth $39.00 ISBN: 9780712349246 Published October 2009 For sale in North and South America only

In his brief lifetime, John Keats (1795–1821) published just three volumes of poetry: a collection of early verse in 1817; Endymion, a long and fairly unsuccessful poem in 1819; and a final collection in 1820, which included most of the poems for which he is now famous. For many years these anthologies contained all that the public knew of Keats, but over time it has become readily apparent that an extraordinary wealth of manuscripts lay behind these few volumes.


John Keats: A Poet and His Manuscripts presents, in chronological order, the surviving manuscripts of his finest poems and letters—often illustrated at actual size and in their entirety—providing a record of the poet’s visual processes of composition and offering a vivid portrait of his rich imagination and swift progress as a writer and thinker. Stephen Hebron, in his masterly introduction, offers the intriguing story of how Keats’s manuscripts were jealously guarded after his death, before they were finally bequeathed to public and private collections, revealing as much about the fame of the poet as the social and literary fashions of the past two-hundred years.

Collecting John Keats
Twenty-One Keats Manuscripts
   'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer'
   Letter to Benjamin Robert Haydon, 20 November 1816
   'This pleasant tale is like a little copse'
   'I stood tip-toe upon a little hill'
   Letter to Leigh Hunt, 10 May 1817
   Letter to Fanny Keats, 10 September 1817
   Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817
   Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 19 February 1818
   Letter to John Taylor, 27 February 1818
   Letter to Richard Woodhouse, 27 October 1818
   'The Eve of St. Agnes'
   'The Eve of St. Mark'
   Letter to George and Georgiana Keats, February-May 1819
   'Ode to Psyche'
   'Ode on Melancholy'
   'Ode to a Nightingale'
   'To Autumn'
   Letter to Richard Woodhouse, 21, 22 September 1819
   Letter to Percy Bysshe Shelley, 16 August 1820
Further Reading
List of Manuscripts
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