With his tragic death at 25, Keats did not have time to3 create a large canon of poetry. Instead of quantity, we are left with poems of tremendous quality. Keats wrote images of unparalleled beauty and lines that are some of the most famous in poetry. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever?" "Beauty is truth, truth beauty?" Keats, baby. All Keats.
Thank goodness there were no telephones or text messaging in Keats' time. Had there been, he would never have written his beautiful letters. A devoted correspondent, Keats wrote hundreds of letters to his siblings, friends, and his fiancée Fanny Brawne. His letters to Fanny are some of the most beautiful love letters in history.
Biographers have often misunderstood John Keats, portraying him either as an overly sensitive soul whose bad reviews literally killed him, or a precocious child. Andrew Motion instead reviews letters and documents to get at the heart of Keats' personality.
Keats' life seems almost the stuff of fiction - his biographies are equally dramatic. The poet Stanley Plumly wrote this unconventional biography of Keats. It is a series of essays which taken together form an intimate portrait of the poet.
Keats' friends Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley were the twin stars of English Romanticism. (Had Keats lived longer, his reputation may have stood alongside theirs.) Though Byron's fame overshadowed Shelley's during their lifetimes, today scholars examine the two poets side by side. Both were major contributors to English poetry.