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John Keats (1795-1821)

John Keats was born in London, the son of a livery stable manager and the eldest of four children. After his father's death when John was nine, the family moved to his maternal grandmother's home in Edmonton where his mother died in 1810. Keats was educated at Clarke's school in Enfield where he excelled in sports and classics.

Following his mother's death, however, he had to leave and became apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary at Enfield. Encouraged to continue his literary studies by his older friend the son of his former headmaster, Charles Bowden Clarke, he began to write poetry whilst continuing his profession in which qualified as an apothecary in 1816, abandoning it in favour of poetry soon afterwards.

Keats' short life was marred by many personal tragedies: the suffering and death of close relatives, unrequited love, jealous attacks by rivals on his art, and his own poor health. The pain and anguish caused by these is a source of inspiration for him, however, and the genius of his later works combines passion and stoicism with classical scholarship and vivid imagery. He died of tuberculosis in Rome at the age of twenty-five on a trip to repair his health.

On first looking into Chapman's Homer
The Realm of Fancy
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to a Nightingale
Ode to Psyche
To Autumn
Ode on Melancholy
  Fragment of an Ode to Maia
Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Stanzas
La Belle Dame sans Merci
When I have Fears that I may cease to be
To Sleep
Last Sonnet


Keats: a Beginner's Guide (A Beginner's Guide Key Figures Series) Keats: a Beginner's Guide (A Beginner's Guide Key Figures Series)
David Edwards

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