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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.

A fresh interpretation of the great Romantic poet: this short biography, published on the bicentenary of Keats’s death, separates the man from the myth.During his lifetime Keats was mocked as a vulgar ‘Cockney’ in the press. It was only after his death that he was tamed by Victorian sensibilities into the archetypal doomed youth and a tragic icon of hopeful, natural guilelessness. Lucasta Miller strips away centuries of myth to reveal a darker, more subversive side to one of literature’s most idealised poets. She highlights his syphilis, his drug use, his metropolitan affectations, his radical politics, his dysfunctional family background, his edgy insecurity, and his relationship with the literary marketplace.

Instead of approaching Keats through the shadow cast by his posthumous reputation, Lucasta Miller reveals his life through his astonishing poems. Drawing on her previous research into the literary nineteenth century, she takes a step back to recover the reality of Keats’s imagination within the context of his actual world and experience. The resulting portrait cleaves to his darker rather than his lighter side: not to the ‘bright star’, but to the poet who wilfully embraced his own sick ‘mawkishness’ in response to the travails of an embattled situation. At the same time, it pays tribute to the unique and authentic quality of his mind, and explains why his poetry has stood the test of time.

  • 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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