Reading John Keats

Reading John Keats

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John Keats (1795-1821), one of the best-loved poets of the Romantic period, is ever alive to words, discovering his purposes as he reads - not only books but also the world around him. Leading Keats scholar Susan J. Wolfson explores the breadth of his works, including his longest ever poem Endymion; subsequent romances, Isabella (a Boccaccio tale with a proto-Marxian edge admired by George Bernard Shaw), the passionate Eve of St Agnes and knotty Lamia; intricate sonnets and innovative odes; the unfinished Hyperion project (Keats's existential rethinking of epic agony); and late lyrics involved with Fanny Brawne, the bright (sometimes dark) star of his last years. Illustrated with manuscript pages, title-pages, and two portraits, Reading John Keats investigates the brilliant complexities of Keats's imagination and his genius in wordplay, uncovering surprises and new delights, and encouraging renewed respect for the power of Keats's thinking and the subtle turns of his writing.
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Table of contents

1. Life and times; 2. Conceiving early poems, and Poems; 3. Falling in love with Endymion, A Poetic Romance. Rereading King Lear; 4. Venturing 'new Romance': Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio; 5. Falling with Hyperion; 6. Still Romancing: The Eve of St Agnes: a dream-sonnet; La belle dame; 7. Reforming the sonnet and forming the Odes of 1819: Psyche, Nightingale, Grecian Urn, Melancholy, Indolence; 8. Writhing, wreathing, writing Lamia; 9. Falling in Fall 1819: The Fall of Hyperion and To Autumn; 10. Last poems and lasting Keats; A few famous formulations; At a glance: Keats in context; Further reading.
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About Susan J. Wolfson

Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English at Princeton University, is widely published in the fields of English Romanticism and poetic theory, including Keats-inspired sonnets in Literary Imagination (2010) and her books: The Romantics and Their Contemporaries (co-edited with Peter Manning, 2010), Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action (2010), John Keats, A Longman Cultural Edition (2007), The Cambridge Companion to John Keats (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Formal Charges (1997).
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