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  • Published: 4 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473565920
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 252

Keats

A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph




A fresh interpretation of the great Romantic poet: this short biography, published in time for the bicentenary of Keats's death in 2021, separates the man from the myth.

The epitaph John Keats wrote for his own gravestone - 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water' - seemingly damned him to oblivion. When he died at the age of twenty-five, having taken a battering from the conservative press, few critics imagined he would be considered one of the great English poets two hundred years later, though he himself had an inkling.

In this brief life, Lucasta Miller takes Keats's best-known poems - the ones you are most likely to have read - and excavates their backstories. In doing so, she resurrects the real Keats: a lower-middle-class outsider from a tragic and dysfunctional family, whose extraordinary energy and love of language allowed him to pummel his way into the heart of English literature; an atheist and a liberal at a time of repression; a human being who delighted in the sensation of the moment; but a complex individual, not the ethereal figure of his posthumous myth.

Combining original close-up readings of his writings with the story of his brief but teeming existence, and drawing on the most recent scholarship, Lucasta Miller shows us how Keats made his poetry, and explains why it retains its vertiginous originality and continues to speak to us across the generations.

  • Published: 4 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473565920
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 252

About the author

Lucasta Miller

Dr Lucasta Miller is the author of The Brontë Myth and a literary journalist whose work has appeared in a wide number of publications, especially the Guardian. She has been a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford and a visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

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