A Life of John Keats

A Life of John Keats

A Life of John Keats

A Life of John Keats

Excerpt

It has been my aim in this book to set Keats against the Georgian background. I have let him speak in his own words as much as possible. I have approached the man from the angle of his life rather than his work (so far as the two can be separated), though I have out of enthusiasm been betrayed into more commentary on the poems than I originally intended. I have, as a part of my scheme of presenlting Keats 'in period,' given more space to the reviews of his books than previous biographers. If these are found not to be of general interest I hope the reader will skip with a clear conscience. The reviews are all concentrated at the end of Chapters VII, XIII and XIX. They are, however, of value to the specialist in assessing the attitude of contemporary critics and readers to the romantic movement.

Now for the agreeable ceremony of thanks. To Mr. Buxton Forman I make my first bow. With sources, with advice and kindly criticism he has removed many briars from my path. Without his help and preliminary encouragement this book would not have been. I am indebted also for help, advice and criticism to Dr. Willard B. Pope who has in addition generously put at my disposal unpublished research upon Brown, Haydon, Reynolds and others of Keats's circle. My thanks are due to the officials of the Hampstead Library who have allowed me access to much material in their possession and especially to Mr. Lionel R. McColvin, the Chief Librarian, and to Mr. Fred Edgcumbe, Curator of the Memorial House, the fairy godfather of all good students of Keats. To Dr. Barry L. Garrad, who has given me much of his valuable time, my debt is a peculiar one and of longer standing. I am proud to call myself his pupil. Mr. Edmund Blunden has in his unfailing kindness read two chapters of my book relating to Leigh Hunt and answered various questions out of his wide knowledge of the period. Professor H. W. Garrod has given me a delightful fore-taste of his new edition of the poems and allowed me to use information. Dr. E. de Sélincourt has also helped me on some points connected with the poems. The Secretary and Librarian at Guy's Hospital have given me access to records and books. Mrs. Stanley Unwin has allowed me to make use of letters by Severn belonging to her and the Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library has given me permission to quote from letters in their possession. I have endeavoured whenever possible to work direct from sources but I am naturally in some measure indebted to the works of the late Sir Sidney Colvin and Miss Amy Lowell . . .

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