The Letters of John Keats

By Maurice Buxton Forman; John Keats | Go to book overview

232. To BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON. 〈August?〉 1820.

Address: B. R. Haydon Esq

No postmark.

My dear Haydon;

I think I am recovering a little, which you should have heard of before if it was not very irksome to me to write the shortest note. I am glad you like my book. At some future time I shall re borrow your Homer1.

Yours ever
John Keats.

____________________
graph; the Milton which he annotated and gave to Mrs. Dilke; and the Beaumont and Fletcher volumes given to Keats by his brother George. These are three volumes out of a set of four containing the dramatic works of Ben Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher. Volume ii has the inscription 'Geo. Keats to his affectionate brother John'; and in volume iv are the holograph poems 'Bards of Passion and of Mirth' and 'Spirit here that reignest'. The volumes accompanied Brown to New Zealand, as did the annotated copy of Burton 'Anatomy', volume ii only, which is also in the Dilke Collection. They were sent to Sir Charles Dilke by Brown's son, Major Charles Brown of Taranaki.

Now and again books formerly owned by Keats fall into the hands of collectors; but it is not often that they are to be had. Some sixty years ago a copy of Lemprière's Classical Dictionary bearing his autograph was acquired for a trifle by one who did not value it much, and who is now dead. Where the book is I know not. It would seem, however, that he must have had two copies in his time. In the Buxton Forman collection, besides the little Dante and Hunt 'Foliage' given by Keats to Fanny Brawne, and therefore not left in the Chest, was a beautiful folio which probably was from the Chest. It is of the third edition of Selden 'Titles of Honour' ( 1672), has the autograph ' John Keats 1819' on the title-page, and more interesting, the commencement of a manuscript index. On a blank leaf at the beginning he has made a complete set of capitals, duly spaced out for the entries to be added; but only two entries were made. Keats 'Auctores Mythographi Latini', one volume quarto, was sent by Charles Brown to Benjamin Bailey in July 1823. His copy of Jackson 'Shakespeare's Genius Justified', 1819, was sold at the George D. Smith sale in New York in May 1920, and his seven-volume Shakespeare, described by Dr. Caroline F. E. Spurgeon in 'Keats's Shakespeare' ( Oxford University Press, 1928) is in the collection of Mr. George Armour of Princeton.

1
Cf. Haydon's letter of the 14th of July 1820, p. 509, and Letters 229 and 231.

-513-

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