Selected Letters of John Keats: Based on the texts of Hyder Edward Rollins, Revised Edition

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9780674018419: Selected Letters of John Keats: Based on the texts of Hyder Edward Rollins, Revised Edition
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The letters of John Keats are, T. S. Eliot remarked, "what letters ought to be; the fine things come in unexpectedly, neither introduced nor shown out, but between trifle and trifle." This new edition, which features four rediscovered letters, three of which are being published here for the first time, affords readers the pleasure of the poet's "trifles" as well as the surprise of his most famous ideas emerging unpredictably.

Unlike other editions, this selection includes letters to Keats and among his friends, lending greater perspective to an epistolary portrait of the poet. It also offers a revealing look at his "posthumous existence," the period of Keats's illness in Italy, painstakingly recorded in a series of moving letters by Keats's deathbed companion, Joseph Severn. Other letters by Dr. James Clark, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Richard Woodhouse--omitted from other selections of Keats's letters--offer valuable additional testimony concerning Keats the man.

Edited for greater readability, with annotations reduced and punctuation and spelling judiciously modernized, this selection recreates the spontaneity with which these letters were originally written.

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About the Author:

Grant F. Scott is Professor of English at Muhlenberg College.

Review:

[These] letters glow with spontaneity; sprightly and personal to the point of intimacy, they reveal a mind and heart searching high and low for possibilities. Here, readers will see a man in step with daily existence who reasoned his way through but also exalted in life's infinite variety and challenges. Insights into Keats's poetry are to be found, too, as well as his great devotion to friends and family. Keats was not without human frailties--he could be dicey, contradictory, and manipulative--but his letters are irresistible...Recommended. (Robert L. Kelly Library Journal 2002-05-01)

This new book, which offers the traditional body of Keats's letters as well as a handful of new additions, reminds us of the extraordinary human being who was John Keats. Here he is--falling in love, struggling with questions of literature and philosophy, generously helping others at every chance, bravely facing a terminal disease...Harvard University Press has produced a definitive volume in this new edition about the poet "whose name was writ on water." (John A. Murray Bloomsbury Review 2002-09-01)

Editor Scott has selected the most important correspondence from the standard two-volume Selected Letters of John Keats published in 1958, for this new version, and added four additional items (three previously unpublished). The informative editorial material is expertly presented. (Dallas Morning News 2002-09-22)

Devotees of Keats's poetry will appreciate Scott's revision. Interesting to read, Keats's letters throw a great deal of light on his life and poetry, revealing the insecurities, doubts, fears, enthusiasms, and creativity of one of England's greatest poets. (G. A. Cevasco Choice 2003-01-01)

Keats's letters have long been regarded as masterpieces, both for the light they shed on the poetry, and for the vivid picture they provide of the poet. This excellent selection is based on Hyder Rollins's definitive 1958 edition, and includes several letters which have been found only recently. The context of the correspondence is established by the inclusion of some letters addressed to Keats. (London Review of Books 2005-12-01)

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