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Life of John Keats His Life and Poetry, his Friends, Critics and After-fame   By: (1845-1927)

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First Page:

Transcriber's notes:

(1) Characters following a carat (^) were printed in superscript.

(2) Macrons and breves above letters and dots below letters were not inserted.

(3) The following typographical errors have been corrected:

Page 39: "The shield and helmet of Diomed, with the accompanying simile, in the opening of the third book; and the prodigious description of Neptune's passage to the Achive ships, in the thirteenth book:" 'Achive' amended to 'Argive'.

Page 146: "And his references to this passage are frequent in his letters. But in those exquisite stanzas," 'references' amended from 'reference'.

Page 478: "Many of them, considered in any other character than that of authors, are, we have no doubt, entitled to be considered as very worthy people in their own way." 'considered' amended from 'considerd'.

Page 480: "... or no regard to truth. It is, in truth, at least is full of genius as of absurdity; and he who does not find a great deal in it to admire and to give delight ..." 'of' amended from 'af'.

Page 490: "... we are like a Quartett of fighting cocks this morning." 'Quartett' amended from 'Quratett'.

[Illustration: PL. I]

JOHN KEATS

HIS LIFE AND POETRY HIS FRIENDS CRITICS AND AFTER FAME

BY SIDNEY COLVIN

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 1917

COPYRIGHT

GLASGOW: PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS BY ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO. LTD.

S. C. TO F. C.

PREFACE

To the name and work of Keats our best critics and scholars have in recent years paid ever closer attention and warmer homage. But their studies have for the most part been specialized and scattered, and there does not yet exist any one book giving a full and connected account of his life and poetry together in the light of our present knowledge and with help of all the available material. Ever since it was my part, some thirty years ago, to contribute the volume on Keats to the series of short studies edited by Lord Morley, (the English Men of Letters series), I have hoped one day to return to the subject and do my best to supply this want. Once released from official duties, I began to prepare for the task, and through the last soul shaking years, being over age for any effectual war service, have found solace and occupation in carrying it through.

The following pages, timed to appear in the hundredth year after the publication of Keats's first volume, are the result. I have sought in them to combine two aims not always easy to be reconciled, those of holding the interest of the general reader and at the same time of satisfying, and perhaps on some points even informing, the special student. I have tried to set forth consecutively and fully the history of a life outwardly remarkable for nothing but its tragic brevity, but inwardly as crowded with imaginative and emotional experience as any on record, and moreover, owing to the open heartedness of the man and to the preservation and unreserved publication of his letters, lying bare almost more than any other to our knowledge. Further, considering for how much friendship counted in Keats's life, I have tried to call up the group of his friends about him in their human lineaments and relations, so far as these can be recovered, more fully than has been attempted before. I believe also that I have been able to trace more closely than has yet been done some of the chief sources, both in literature and in works of art, of his inspiration. I have endeavoured at the same time to make felt the critical and poetical atmosphere, with its various and strongly conflicting currents, amid which he lived, and to show how his genius, almost ignored in its own day beyond the circle of his private friends, was a focus in which many vital streams of poetic tendency from the past centred and from which many radiated into the future. To illustrate this last point it has been necessary, by way of epilogue, to sketch, however briefly, the story of his posthumous fame, his after life in the minds and hearts of English writers and readers until to day... Continue reading book >>




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