. . . Brother, 'tis vain to hide That thou dost know of things mysterious, immortal, starry; such alone could thus Weigh down thy nature.
Endymion, Book I, lines 505-508.
IF Fanny Keats had been told of an intention to write her life it would have taken a long time to obtain her consent, and she would have agreed to it only if she had been convinced that the writing of it would serve her brother's fame. To the English reader who thinks of the sisters of famous men of letters the name of Dorothy Wordsworth will be the first to come to mind, but Dorothy was the intimate companion of her brother for many years, and there is nothing of this in the life of Fanny Keats. She was seventeen when John left England to die five months later, and within a few years she had married and gone to Spain from where she never returned. Except for her husband she met there no one who had known her brother, and probably few who had heard of him. While she and John lived in England they were only together during her childhood, and she was too young to come within the circle of his friends. The only one of them whom she knew closely, Fanny Brawne, she did not meet until after . . .