Major Works Including Endymion, the Odes and Selected Letters

ISBN-10: 0199554889
ISBN-13: 9780199554881
Edition: 2008
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Description: This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together a unique combination of Keats's poetry and prose - all the major poems, complemented by a  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/11/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 704
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together a unique combination of Keats's poetry and prose - all the major poems, complemented by a generous selection of Keats's letters - togive the essence of his work and thinking. In his tragically short life Keats wrote an astonishing number of superb poems; his stature as one of the foremost poets of the Romantic movement remains unassailable. This volume contains all the poetry published during his lifetime, including Endymion in its entirety, the Odes, 'Lamia', and bothversions of 'Hyperion'. The poetry is presented in chronological sequence, illustrating the staggering speed with which Keats's work matured. Further insight into his creative process is given by reproducing, in their original form, a number of poems that were published posthumously. Keats's letters are admired almost as much as his poetry and were described by T. S. Eliot as 'certainly the most notable and most important ever written by any English poet'. They provide the best biographical detail available and shed invaluable light on Keats's poems.

John Keats was born in London, the oldest of four children, on October 31, 1795. His father, who was a livery-stable keeper, died when Keats was eight years old, and his mother died six years later. At age 15, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. In 1815 he began studying medicine but soon gave up that career in favor of writing poetry. The critic Douglas Bush has said that, if one poet could be recalled to life to complete his career, the almost universal choice would be Keats, who now is regarded as one of the three or four supreme masters of the English language. His early work is badly flawed in both technique and critical judgment, but, from his casually written but brilliant letters, one can trace the development of a genius who, through fierce determination in the face of great odds, fashioned himself into an incomparable artist. In his tragically brief career, cut short at age 25 by tuberculosis, Keats constantly experimented, often with dazzling success, and always with steady progress over previous efforts. The unfinished Hyperion is the only English poem after Paradise Lost that is worthy to be called an epic, and it is breathtakingly superior to his early Endymion (1818), written just a few years before. Isabella is a fine narrative poem, but The Eve of St. Agnes (1819), written soon after, is peerless. In Lamia (1819) Keats revived the couplet form, long thought to be dead, in a gorgeous, romantic story. Above all it was in his development of the ode that Keats's supreme achievement lies. In just a few months, he wrote the odes "On a Grecian Urn" (1819), "To a Nightingale" (1819), "To Melancholy" (1819), and the marvelously serene "To Autumn" (1819). Keats is the only romantic poet whose reputation has steadily grown through all changes in critical fashion. Once patronized as a poet of beautiful images but no intellectual content, Keats is now appreciated for his powerful mind, profound grasp of poetic principles, and ceaseless quest for new forms and techniques. For many readers, old and young, Keats is a heroic figure. John Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water."

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