John Keats is one of the greatest poets of all time, and yet his lifespan was even shorter than that of the Brontë Sisters. The poem narrates a version of the Greek legend of the love of the moon goddess (variously Diana, Selene, and Artemis; also identified as Cynthia by Keats) for Endymion, a mortal shepherd, but Keats puts the emphasis on Endymion’s love for the goddess rather than on hers for him. Darkness, disease and depression surrounded him, reflected in poems such as "The Eve of St. Agnes" and "La Belle Dame sans Merci" where love and death both stalk.  Bate declared of To Autumn: "Each generation has found it one of the most nearly perfect poems in English" and M. R. Ridley claimed the ode "is the most serenely flawless poem in our language. His first mature poem is the sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (1816), which was inspired by his excited reading of George Chapman’s classic 17th-century translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey. [nb 2] Brown wrote, "In the spring of 1819 a nightingale had built her nest near my house. 1839, p82.  When his brother George went to America, Keats wrote to him in great detail, the body of letters becoming "the real diary" and self-revelation of Keats' life, as well as containing an exposition of his philosophy, and the first drafts of poems containing some of Keats' finest writing and thought.  His work had the full support of the influential Cambridge Apostles, whose members included the young Tennyson,[nb 5] later a popular Poet Laureate who came to regard Keats as the greatest poet of the 19th century. 50 terms. Within a month of the publication of Poems they were planning a new Keats volume and had paid him an advance. What imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth. When did John Keats die? Updates? Keats' brother George and his wife Georgina accompanied them as far as Lancaster and then continued to Liverpool, from where the couple emigrated to America. John Keats 1816. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. I must die. They glitter with humour and critical intelligence. Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes Died: February 23, 1821 Rome, Italy English poet The English Romantic poet John Keats stressed that man's quest for happiness and fulfillment is thwarted (prevented from taking place) by the sorrow and corruption inherent (existing as an essential characteristic) in human nature.  Constance Naden was a great admirer of his poems, arguing that his genius lay in his 'exquisite sensitiveness to all the elements of beauty'. As a result Keats went through dreadful agonies with nothing to ease the pain at all." Marked as the standard-bearer of sensory writing, his reputation grew steadily and remarkably. Now, strongly drawn by ambition, inspired by fellow poets such as Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron, and beleaguered by family financial crises, he suffered periods of depression. The first months of 1821 marked a slow and steady decline into the final stage of tuberculosis. Seven weeks after the funeral he wrote Adonais, a despairing elegy, stating that Keats' early death was a personal and public tragedy: The loveliest and the last, Keats had spent a great deal on his medical training and, despite his state of financial hardship and indebtedness, had made large loans to friends such as painter Benjamin Haydon. At Abbey’s instigation John Keats was apprenticed to a surgeon at Edmonton in 1811. John Keats. He tried to get the bottle from Severn on the voyage but Severn wouldn't let him have it. They had not attended Eton, Harrow or Oxbridge and they were not from the upper classes. Persuasion. The winter of 1818–19, though a difficult period for the poet, marked the beginning of his annus mirabilis in which he wrote his most mature work. Lachman, Lilach (1988). He writes that he "frequented her rooms" in the winter of 1818–19, and in his letters to George says that he "warmed with her" and "kissed her". In his wanderings, Endymion is guilty of an apparent infidelity to his visionary moon goddess and falls in love with an earthly maiden to whom he is attracted by human sympathy. Indeed, during Keats' few years as a published poet, the reputation of the older Romantic school was at its lowest ebb. Severn nursed him devotedly and observed in a letter how Keats would sometimes cry upon waking to find himself still alive. To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells  The poetical mind, Keats argued: has no self – it is every thing and nothing – It has no character – it enjoys light and shade;... What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the camelion [chameleon] Poet. She was born in the hamlet of West End (now in the district of West Hampstead), on 9 August 1800. Such has been his influence that he has been compared to the likes of Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite writing poetry seriously for just about six years and coming up with only four publications in his lifetime. [nb 1] It seems he was not told of the £800, and probably knew nothing of it, since he never applied for it. On his return to London a brutal criticism of his early poems appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine, followed by a similar attack on Endymion in the Quarterly Review. John Keats died because he had Tuberculosis, and because he was just too awesome for ours to keep. To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,  The final volume Keats lived to see, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, was eventually published in July 1820. But being too happy in thine happiness,— Doctor's mistakes to blame for Keats' agonising end, says new biography, Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, "Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats | Representative Poetry Online", "Talking Pictures: 'Bright Star' – 2 1/2 stars", Mapping Keats's Progress: A Critical Chronology, Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Keats&oldid=1000221731, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. (2007). First stanza of "Ode to a Nightingale",May 1819, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode on Melancholy" were inspired by sonnet forms and probably written after "Ode to a Nightingale". John Keats was born in Moorgate, London, on 31 October 1795 to Thomas Keats and his wife, Frances Jennings. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.  Clarke commented that the book "might have emerged in Timbuctoo. His brother George wrote that John "feared that he should never be a poet, & if he was not he would destroy himself". About October 1819 Keats became engaged to Fanny. Letter to George Keats, Sunday 14 February 1819, Scott, Grant (ed. That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne; , In 1819, Keats wrote "The Eve of St. Agnes", "La Belle Dame sans Merci", "Hyperion", "Lamia" and a play, Otho the Great (critically damned and not performed until 1950). According to Brown, "Ode to a Nightingale" was composed under a plum tree in the garden. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analysed in English literature. Tragedy struck their family early on, when his brother, Edward, passed away at age 1 in 1802 (Colvin).  The ashes of Shelley, one of Keats' most fervent champions, are buried in the cemetery and Joseph Severn is buried next to Keats. Although he noted that Keats could be "wayward, trembling, easily daunted," Woodhouse was convinced of Keats' genius, a poet to support as he became one of England's greatest writers. I cannot be deceived in that colour. February 23, 1821 at 26 Piazza di Spagna, Rome. Aware that he was dying, he wrote to Fanny Brawne in February 1820, "I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have lov'd the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember'd.". He was the eldest of four surviving children; his younger siblings were George(1797–1841), Thomas (1799–1818), and Frances Mary "Fanny" (1803–1889) who eventually married Spanish author Valentín Llanos Gutiérrez. He published only fifty-four poems, in three slim volumes and a few magazines. Two months before he died, John Keats claimed he had been poisoned. Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song; and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass-plot under a plum-tree, where he sat for two or three hours. Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains It was a decisive turning point for Keats, establishing him in the public eye as a figure in what Hunt termed "a new school of poetry. His influence can be seen in the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the Pre-Raphaelites, among others.  His admirers praised him for thinking "on his pulses", for having developed a style which was more heavily loaded with sensualities, more gorgeous in its effects, more voluptuously alive than any poet who had come before him: "loading every rift with ore". The dismissal was as much political as literary, aimed at upstart young writers deemed uncouth for their lack of education, non-formal rhyming and "low diction". Some biographers suggest that this is when tuberculosis, his "family disease," first took hold. The son of a livery-stable manager, John Keats received relatively little formal education.  Jones inspired and was a steward of Keats' writing. As it did for their mother - and eventually George and his wife in America - tuberculosis would prove fatal for Tom, and he died in December 1818. Keats began to lend Brawne books, such as Dante's Inferno, and they would read together. His mother remarried, but died of tuberculosis in 1810. From then until his early death, the story of his life is largely the story of the poetry he wrote. The young Keats was described by his friend Edward Holmes as a volatile character, "always in extremes", given to indolence and fighting. Within a month of starting, he was accepted as a dresser at the hospital, assisting surgeons during operations, the equivalent of a junior house surgeon today. laurenpedersen98 PLUS.  Shortly after his death, his publishers announced they would speedily publish The memoirs and remains of John Keats but his friends refused to cooperate and argued with each other to the extent that the project was abandoned. "All his desires were concentrated on Fanny". How did John Keats die? His first attempts at verse were often vague, languorously narcotic and lacking a clear eye. I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love. , Through Taylor and Hessey, Keats met their Eton-educated lawyer, Richard Woodhouse, who advised them on literary as well as legal matters and was deeply impressed by Poems. On his return to London he moved into lodgings in Hampstead with his brothers.  Tom Keats died on 1 December 1818. His father died in 1804, and his mother remarried almost immediately. Although Keats and his family seem to have marked his birthday on 29 October, baptism records give the date as the 31st. View this answer English poet John Keats died of Tuberculosis on February 23, 1821, at the age of 25.  In 1816, Keats received his apothecary's licence, which made him eligible to practise as an apothecary, physician, and surgeon, but before the end of the year he announced to his guardian that he was resolved to be a poet, not a surgeon.  Keats and his friends, poets, critics, novelists, and editors wrote to each other daily, and Keats' ideas are bound up in the ordinary, his day-to-day missives sharing news, parody and social commentary. , In spite of the bad reviews of Poems, Hunt published the essay "Three Young Poets" (Shelley, Keats, and Reynolds) and the sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," foreseeing great things to come. At the suggestion of his doctors, he agreed to move to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn. In some melodious plot Despite care from Severn and Dr. James Clark, his health rapidly deteriorated. Born to Thomas and Frances Jennings Keats, John Keats was the eldest of 5 sibilings. John Keats (1795-1821) is celebrated as one of the greatest poets of the English language, succumbing to tuberculosis at age 25. Keats lodged in the attic above the surgery at 7 Church Street until 1813.  In November 1820, Clark declared that the source of his illness was "mental exertion" and that the source was largely situated in his stomach. Until they think warm days will never cease, … Describing the site today, Marsh wrote, "In the old part of the graveyard, barely a field when Keats was buried here, there are now umbrella pines, myrtle shrubs, roses, and carpets of wild violets". About the same time, he met Fanny Brawne, a near neighbour in Hampstead, with whom he soon fell hopelessly and tragically in love.  Critic Helen Vendler stated the odes "are a group of works in which the English language find ultimate embodiment".  In the twentieth century, Keats remained the muse of poets such as Wilfred Owen, who kept his death date as a day of mourning, Yeats and T. S. Among his poems of 1816 was To My Brothers.  It is likely that the 18-year-old Brawne visited the Dilke family at Wentworth Place before she lived there. , In 1882, Swinburne wrote in the Encyclopædia Britannica that "the Ode to a Nightingale, [is] one of the final masterpieces of human work in all time and for all ages". In early December 1816, under the heady influence of his artistic friends, Keats told Abbey that he had decided to give up medicine in favour of poetry, to Abbey's fury. John Keats Title Author Year; On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. laurenpedersen98 PLUS. Frances remarried two months later, but left her new husband soon afterwards, and the four children went to live with their grandmother, Alice Jennings, in the village of Edmonton. His parents had been wed for barely a year when John was born.  He lodged near the hospital, at 28 St Thomas's Street in Southwark, with other medical students, including Henry Stephens who became a famous inventor and ink magnate. Researchers believe that this death in a way shaped the future poet’s understanding of human life, which grounded his later poetry. Their publishing lists eventually included Coleridge, Hazlitt, Clare, Hogg, Carlyle and Lamb. In his lifetime, sales of Keats' three volumes of poetry probably amounted to only 200 copies. And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; At the time, Keats was living in the city of Rome, then part of... See full answer below. , Although prolific during his short career, and now one of the most studied and admired British poets, his reputation rests on a small body of work, centred on the Odes, and only in the creative outpouring of the last years of his short life was he able to express the inner intensity for which he has been lauded since his death. His works are marked with rich imagery and melodic beauty. Some of his most acclaimed works are "Ode to a Nightingale", "Sleep and Poetry", and the famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer". Clarke also introduced Keats to the journalist and contemporary poet Leigh Hunt, and Keats made friends in Hunt’s circle with the young poet John Hamilton Reynolds and with the painter Benjamin Haydon. [Keats said] "Severn—I—lift me up—I am dying—I shall die easy; don't be frightened—be firm, and thank God it has come."  Keats' new and progressive publishers Taylor and Hessey issued Endymion, which Keats dedicated to Thomas Chatterton, a work that he termed "a trial of my Powers of Imagination". He sees himself as, at present, plunged in the delighted contemplation of sensuous natural beauty but realizes that he must leave this for an understanding of “the agony and strife of human hearts.” Otherwise the volume is remarkable only for some delicate natural observation and some obvious Spenserian influences. He broke off his apprenticeship in 1814 and went to live in London, where he worked as a dresser, or junior house surgeon, at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospitals. She seems to have been an unexceptional young woman, of firm and generous character, and kindly disposed toward Keats. After Tom’s death (George had already gone to America), Keats moved into Wentworth Place with Brown, and in April 1819 Brawne and her mother became his next-door neighbours. John Keats devoted his short life to the perfection of poetry marked by vivid imagery, great sensuous appeal and an attempt to express a philosophy through classical legend. John Stride played John Keats and Janina Faye played Fanny Brawne. I, says the Quarterly So savage and Tartarly; 'Twas one of my feats. Who killed John Keats? Oft of one wide expanse had I been told ", The largest collection of the letters, manuscripts, and other papers of Keats is in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Professor of English, University of Cambridge, 1966–75; Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge, 1964–75. The relation with Fanny had a decisive effect on Keats’s development. Severn and Brown added their lines to the stone in protest at the critical reception of Keats' work. Abbey, a prosperous tea broker, assumed the bulk of this responsibility, while Sandell played only a minor role.  Sometime before the end of June, he arrived at some sort of understanding with Brawne, far from a formal engagement as he still had too little to offer, with no prospects and financial stricture. Auszug aus einer brieflichen Mitteilung an den Herausgeber. Soon after they met, the two became close friends, and Woodhouse started to collect Keatsiana, documenting as much as he could about Keats' poetry. Their love remained unconsummated; jealousy for his 'star' began to gnaw at him. He mentions little about his childhood or his financial straits and is seemingly embarrassed to discuss them. After leaving he felt unable to write to her or read her letters, although he did correspond with her mother. Where was John Keats born? John Keats died of tuberculosis in Rome in 1821 at the age of 25. ", Few of Keats' letters are extant from the period before he joined his literary circle. Both his uncertain material situation and his failing health in any case made it impossible for their relationship to run a normal course. [nb 4] It was Lockhart at Blackwoods who coined the defamatory term "the Cockney School" for Hunt and his circle, which included both Hazlitt and Keats. For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. By lending so much, Keats could no longer cover the interest of his own debts. , John Keats: His Life and Death, the first major motion picture about the life of Keats, was produced in 1973 by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. Five months later came the publication of Poems, the first volume of Keats' verse, which included "I stood tiptoe" and "Sleep and Poetry," both strongly influenced by Hunt. That drop of blood is my death warrant. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? They lived in Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky, until 1841, when George's investments failed. When a new planet swims into his ken;  The Globe pub now occupies the site (2012), a few yards from the modern-day Moorgate station. " Keats spent a great deal of time considering poetry itself, its constructs and impacts, displaying a deep interest unusual amongst his milieu who were more easily distracted by metaphysics or politics, fashions or science. On Seeing the Elgin Marbles . , During 1820 Keats displayed increasingly serious symptoms of tuberculosis, suffering two lung haemorrhages in the first few days of February. Eliot wrote of Keats' conclusions; "There is hardly one statement of Keats' about poetry which ... will not be found to be true, and what is more, true for greater and more mature poetry than anything Keats ever wrote.  He wrote later: "I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of Imagination – What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth – whether it existed before or not – for I have the same Idea of all our Passions as of Love they are all in their sublime, creative of essential Beauty" again and again turning to the question of what it means to be a poet. As he lay dying, Keats sent his friend Joseph Severn to visit the graveyard. , Wentworth Place now houses the Keats House museum. Nationality: England Executive summary: English romantic poet. A particularly harsh review by John Wilson Croker appeared in the April 1818 edition of The Quarterly Review. First stanza of "To Autumn",September 1819, By the time of his death, Keats had therefore been associated with the taints of both old and new schools: the obscurity of the first-wave Romantics and the uneducated affectation of Hunt's "Cockney School". No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast, To … THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH... Jane Austen Biography. Keats also reflected on the background and composition of his poetry, and specific letters often coincide with or anticipate the poems they describe. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content.  Born of an "unself-conscious stream of consciousness," they are impulsive, full of awareness of his own nature and his weak spots.  He had written his first extant poem, "An Imitation of Spenser," in 1814, when he was 19. Keats died of what we now know to be pulmonary tuberculosis. Francis Beaumont also used the expression in The Nice Valour, Act 5, scene 5 (? The small school had a liberal outlook and a progressive curriculum more modern than the larger, more prestigious schools. "A window to the soul of John Keats" by Marsh, Stefanie. This video was produced by Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness Died on the promise of the fruit.  A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque was unveiled in 1896 to commemorate Keats at Keats House. ), Selected Letters of John Keats, Harvard University Press (2002), Keats letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817, Kelvin Everest, "Keats, John (1795–1821)", "See the British National Archives for conversion rates", Savour John Keats' poetry in garden where he wrote, Keats' London home reopens after major refurbishment. There is little evidence of his exact birthplace. After his mother’s death, Keats’s maternal grandmother appointed two London merchants, Richard Abbey and John Rowland Sandell, as guardians. When and where did John Keats die? 24 February 1821. John Keats in a letter to his brother George, September 1819: 'You speak of Lord Byron and me - There is this great difference between us. John Keats was born on 31 October 1795, the first of Frances Jennings and Thomas Keats’s five children, one of whom died in infancy. 1616): All your better deeds / Shall be in water writ, but this in marble.  On first coughing up blood, on 3 February 1820, he said to Charles Armitage Brown, "I know the colour of that blood! Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). At school Keats was noted as a pugnacious lad and was decidedly “not literary,” but in 1809 he began to read voraciously. The story goes that in early February of 1820 he caught a fever and had a haemorrhage — coughed up blood — and by virtue of his medical training, Keats deemed this was arterial blood, thus signifying what he construed as his ‘death-warrant’. When they finally docked in Naples, the ship was held in quarantine for ten days due to a suspected outbreak of cholera in Britain. Thomas Keats died in an accident in 1804 – he was being trampled by a horse. The Human Seasons.  His poetic sense was based on the conventional tastes of his friend Charles Cowden Clarke, who first introduced him to the classics, and also came from the predilections of Hunt's Examiner, which Keats read as a boy. John Keats was born on October 31, 1795 and died on February 23, 1821. The headmaster's son, Charles Cowden Clarke, also became an important mentor and friend, introducing Keats to Renaissance literature, including Tasso, Spenser, and Chapman's translations.  Shelley often corresponded with Keats in Rome and loudly declared that Keats' death had been brought on by bad reviews in the Quarterly Review. , In October 1816, Clarke introduced Keats to the influential Leigh Hunt, a close friend of Byron and Shelley. "History and Temporalization of Space: Keats' Hyperion Poems". Bate p581: "Each generation has found it one of the most nearly perfect poems in English. My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Youth.  In 1821, Jones was one of the first in England to be notified of Keats' death. " Keats' publishers, Charles and James Ollier, felt ashamed of the book. The publications of letters to Fanny Brawne in 1870 focus on this period and emphasise this tragic aspect, giving rise to widespread criticism at the time. O'Neill, Michael & Mahoney Charles (Eds.) Even from just this quote, you can pick up on the evident rivalry between Byron and Keats. Somehow the stubble plain looks warm – in the same way as some pictures look warm – this struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed upon it". Keats immediately changed publishers to Taylor and Hessey on Fleet Street.  Writing to his brother George, Keats explored the idea of the world as "the vale of Soul-making", anticipating the great odes that he would write some months later. , In March 1810, when Keats was 14, his mother died of tuberculosis, leaving the children in the custody of their grandmother.  He died there five months later.  "Consumption" was not identified as a disease with a single infectious origin until 1820, and there was considerable stigma attached to the condition, as it was often associated with weakness, repressed sexual passion, or masturbation. One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:  He was also regularly meeting William Hazlitt, a powerful literary figure of the day.  However, early accounts often gave contradictory or heavily biased versions of events and were subject to dispute.  William Walton, solicitor for Keats' mother and grandmother, definitely did know and had a duty of care to relay the information to Keats.  Andrew Motion represents him as Boswell to Keats' Johnson, ceaselessly promoting the writer's work, fighting his corner, and spurring his poetry to greater heights. , In Dan Simmons' book Hyperion, one of the characters is a clone of John Keats, of whom he possesses personality and memories. His brother? Conspiring with him how to load and bless "John Keats: The Critical Heritage".  In the letters, Keats coined ideas such as the Mansion of Many Apartments and the Chameleon Poet, concepts that came to gain common currency and capture the public imagination, despite only making single appearances as phrases in his correspondence. I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. Severn and Brown erected the stone, which under a relief of a lyre with broken strings, includes the epitaph: This Grave / contains all that was Mortal / of a / Young English Poet / Who / on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart / at the Malicious Power of his Enemies / Desired / these Words to be / engraven on his Tomb Stone: / Here lies One / Whose Name was writ in Water. Himself still alive 100 ], in October 1816, Clarke introduced Keats to Gravesend embark! Mine to go on to lend £700 to his sister, Fanny, and the Pre-Raphaelites among!, Mason College Magazine, described Endymion as `` imperturbable drivelling idiocy '' compression of his great letter writing 26... Few magazines, Kentucky, until 1841, when his brother George am afraid to encounter proing. To Rome become embedded in a body of Keats ' Hyperion poems '' leaving he felt to!, critics deemed them unworthy of attention, distractions from his overwrought letters poetic apprenticeship and maturity so. 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Modern-Day Moorgate station formal education lacking a clear eye often give way to and... Mother died of tuberculosis endured great conflict knowing his expectations as a published poet, the Keats lived... Succumbed to tuberculosis to encounter the proing and conning of any English.!