Keats
16%
off

Keats

By (author) Sir Andrew Motion

US$19.39US$23.11

You save US$3.72

Free delivery worldwide

Available
Dispatched in 1 business day

When will my order arrive?

Keats is the first major biography of this tragic hero of romanticism for some thirty years, and it differs from its predecessors in important respects. The outline of the story is well known - has become, in fact, the stuff of legend: the archetypal life of the tortured genius, critically spurned and dying young. What Andrew Motion brings to bear on the subject is a deep understanding of how Keats fitted into the intellectual and political life of his time. Important friendships with such anti-establishment figures as William Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt are given their full due, and the closeness of his own spirit, as expressed in his poems, to the ferment all around is made clear. Many significant new facts about Keats' schooldays and medical training, in particular, enrich the picture. Keats emerges as a more political figure than he is usually portrayed, but his personal sufferings, too, come into closer focus. Most importantly, Andrew Motion - himself a distinguished poet and former poet laureate - demonstrates how the poems continue to exert their power. "A definitive life of a great poet, and one of the finest biographies of the decade." (New Statesman).

show more
  • Paperback | 672 pages
  • 138 x 212 x 52mm | 780.19g
  • 17 Feb 2003
  • FABER & FABER
  • Faber & Faber Non-Fiction
  • London
  • English
  • illustrations facsimiles, map, plan, portraits
  • 0571172288
  • 9780571172283
  • 85,490

Other books in this category

Other people who viewed this bought:

Author Information

Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009; he is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and co-founder of the online Poetry Archive. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, and has published four celebrated biographies. His group study The Lamberts won the Somerset Maugham Award and Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life - his authorised life of Philip Larkin - won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. His memoir, In the Blood (2006), was described as 'the most moving and exquisitely written account of childhood loss I have ever read' in the Independent on Sunday. Andrew Motion was knighted for his services to poetry in 2009.

show more

Review text

Whether illuminating Keats's famous lines or unearthing long-occluded facts about the most ill-starred of English Romantic poets, this superb biographical study displays an unusually sensitive erudition. Keats died of tuberculosis in 1821, at age 25, leaving behind only a few slim volumes' worth of poems. In his lifetime Keats was roundly mocked by critics - so much so that many of his contemporaries imagined him to have died of shame. These facts have given rise to an image of him as a sickly dreamer, "half in love," as one of his celebrated odes puts it, "with easeful death." It is this image of Keats that Motion (Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life, 1993) tries to put to rest. Motion highlights the tough side of Keats's character, introducing us to the child prone to brawling and fits of rage, and to the young man whose strenuous walking tour of Britain may have contributed to the breakdown of his health. This Keats was intensely engaged with society, He nursed first his mother, and then his brother Tom, as they died of consumption, and his mother's death inspired him to enter the medical profession and train as a surgeon. Motion argues convincingly that Keats saw his poetic vocation as consistent with this work, showing how his poems abound in expertly depicted bodies and often seem to have a therapeutic aim. Sometimes this desired effect would be on the body politic: Motion shows too how Keats's poems were informed by his radical politics - shaped in great part by his mentor, the radical journalist Leigh Hunt - and by his reactions to such crises in the reform movement as the Peterloo massacre. Himself a noted poet, Motion writes sprightly, striking prose: For instance, he describes Fanny Brawne, Keats's inamorata, as "unformed, frisky, and quick-tongued: conventional in her tastes; vehement in her enjoyments." Far from burying Keats in a doorstop-biography tomb, Motion has embodied him in a book that is itself vehemently enjoyable. (Kirkus Reviews)

show more