Keats's Endymion: A Critical Edition

By John Keats; Stephen T. Steinhoff | Go to book overview

Notes to Book I
Motto: From Shakespeare Sonnetxvii, "Who will believe my verse in time to come?" Dickstein (55-6) notes that K.'s use of the line, which is spoken "not by the poet but by a mocking and skeptical posterity," reflects an "ironic double perspective," since he both asserts the claims of the imagination and is skeptical about them. See K.'s letter to Reynolds of Nov. 22, 1817, where he says Shakespeare "overwhelms a genuine Lover of Poesy with all manner of abuse, talking about--'a poet's rate and stretched metre of an antique song'--Which by the by will be a capital Motto for my Poem--wont it?" (I, 189).
Dedication: K. viewed Chatterton, like himself, not only as another Endymion, but as a poet of "the native music" (see K.'s letter to the George Keatses of Sept. 21, 1819 and IV.1-29n.). Although Bailey heard the "charm" of Chatterton's style in Endymion (see Bate 216), Gittings2 (49) feels it "does not appear anywhere in Endymion, which is largely dominated by the greater charm of Shakespeare."
1-33. Dickstein (54) argues that "the proem is not the poem's actual beginning, but a sort of Argument, not fully comprehensible until we have gone through the whole poem." It is also, he adds, "an apologetic assertion about the nature of poetry and about this poem's relation to reality." According to Evert (165), it states "the lesson Endymion will have to learn . . . that the natural beauty of the external world and of humanity at its best reflects the condition of, and places us in touch with the divine." (4-6)
1-13. Finney (297) believes K. derived "This principle of the comforting power in beautiful objects" from "Wordsworth's philosophy of nature," and compares Tintern Abbey (23-31). For Yrye6 (127), the awareness of beauty here is "not a mere solace in sorrow, though it is also that, but a more intensely experienced kind of reality . . . where truth is created as well as recognized . . ." For a further discussion of the passage, see Intro.
1-3. Ende (60) claims the passage "affirms the permanence of

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Keats's Endymion: A Critical Edition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction Biographical Background 1
  • Notes 50
  • Endymion: Text and Notes 57
  • Preface 58
  • Book I 59
  • Book II 84
  • Book II 109
  • Book II 135
  • Notes to Book I 160
  • Notes to Book II 197
  • Notes to Book II 218
  • Notes to Book II 234
  • The Original Dedication and Preface 259
  • Review in the Champion 261
  • Croker's Attack in the Quarterly Review 265
  • Reynold's Reply to Croker in the Examiner 270
  • Patmore's Review in the London Magazine 276
  • Bibliography of References Cited 293
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