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The Enchanted Castle by Claude. An engraving which made a big impression on Keats

The Enchanted Castle by Claude. An engraving which made a big impression on Keats

The informal will of John Keats.  "...all my estate real and personal consists in the hopes of the sale of books publish'd and unpublish'd..." It gives instructions that his friends Charles Brown and John Taylor be "the first paid Creditors". The final directive, penned (in perfect iambic pentametre) at the top of this "scrap of Paper", disperses his small library of about 80 books - he states: "My Chest of Books divide among my friends."

The informal will of John Keats. "...all my estate real and personal consists in the hopes of the sale of books publish'd and unpublish'd..." It gives instructions that his friends Charles Brown and John Taylor be "the first paid Creditors". The final directive, penned (in perfect iambic pentametre) at the top of this "scrap of Paper", disperses his small library of about 80 books - he states: "My Chest of Books divide among my friends."

Hampstead from the Kilburn Road.  1824.  Keats and his friend the painter B R Haydon walked in Kilburn Meadows.

Hampstead from the Kilburn Road. 1824. Keats and his friend the painter B R Haydon walked in Kilburn Meadows.

John Keats lived only twenty five years and four months (1795-1821), yet his poetic achievement is extraordinary. His writing career lasted a little more than five years and three of his great odes were written in one month. Most of his major poems were written between his twenty third and twenty fourth years, and all his poems were written by his twenty fifth year. In this brief period, he produced poems that rank him as one of the great English poets.

John Keats lived only twenty five years and four months (1795-1821), yet his poetic achievement is extraordinary. His writing career lasted a little more than five years and three of his great odes were written in one month. Most of his major poems were written between his twenty third and twenty fourth years, and all his poems were written by his twenty fifth year. In this brief period, he produced poems that rank him as one of the great English poets.

An idealised view of New Plymouth in New Zealand, painted in bucolic mode to encourage settlers. Charles Brown senior begged to differ. But before he could make the return voyage, he died here of an "apopleptic fit".

An idealised view of New Plymouth in New Zealand, painted in bucolic mode to encourage settlers. Charles Brown senior begged to differ. But before he could make the return voyage, he died here of an "apopleptic fit".

The Enchanted Castle (detail)   1664, Claude Lorrain  The picture was painted in 1664 for the Roman aristocrat, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna. It influenced John Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ (1819).

The Enchanted Castle (detail) 1664, Claude Lorrain The picture was painted in 1664 for the Roman aristocrat, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna. It influenced John Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ (1819).

Droit House with Bathing Machines, Margate, Kent c.1800. Keats visited Margate several times, the first being during the summer of 1816 with his brother Tom.

Droit House with Bathing Machines, Margate, Kent c.1800. Keats visited Margate several times, the first being during the summer of 1816 with his brother Tom.

St Stephen, Coleman Street.  This was the Keats family church in the City of London. One of the lost Wren churches, destroyed in the Blitz. A watercolour painted in 1815, three years before Keats buried his 19-year-old brother Tom here.

St Stephen, Coleman Street. This was the Keats family church in the City of London. One of the lost Wren churches, destroyed in the Blitz. A watercolour painted in 1815, three years before Keats buried his 19-year-old brother Tom here.

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