‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination’, writes Keats, in a letter to his friend Benjamin Bailey in November 1817.
In a period of great letter-writing, Keats’s letters are outstanding. They begin in summer 1816, as he approached his twenty-first birthday, and were written over the next four years until his early death. Viewed together, they give the fullest and most poignant record we have of Keats’s ambitions and hopes as a poet, his life as a literary man about town, his close relationship with his brothers and young sister, and, later, his passionate, jealous and frustrated love for Fanny Brawne.
Keats enclosed many of his poems with his letters, and read together, they offer an incomparable insight into his creative process and development as a poet. This major new edition edited by Professor John Barnard includes an introduction and notes, as well as a map of Keats’s Scottish walking tour and reproductions of his letters.
The Heart’s Affections
I was 17 when I finished reading the letters of John Keats for the first time. It was a warm summer evening and I was lying in bed with the volume I’d chosen, rather at random, for my school’s...Read more