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Keats by Sidney Colvin

English Men of Letters






_First Edition 1887._ _Reprinted 1889, 1898, 1899, 1902, 1909._ _Library Edition 1902._ _Reprinted 1906._ _Pocket Edition 1909._


With the name of Keats that of his first biographer, the late Lord Houghton, must always justly remain associated. But while the sympathetic charm of Lord Houghton's work will keep it fresh, as a record of the poet's life it can no longer be said to be sufficient. Since the revised edition of the _Life and Letters_ appeared in 1867, other students and lovers of Keats have been busy, and much new information concerning him been brought to light, while of the old information some has been proved mistaken. No connected account of Keats's life and work, in accordance with the present state of knowledge, exists, and I have been asked to contribute such an account to the present series. I regret that lack of strength and leisure has so long delayed the execution of the task entrusted to me. The chief authorities and printed texts which I have consulted (besides the original editions of the Poems) are the following:--

1. Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries. By Leigh Hunt. London, 1828.

2. The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley. By Thomas Medwin. London, 2 vols., 1847.

3. Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats. Edited by Richard Monckton Milnes. 2 vols., London, 1848.

4. Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon. Edited and compiled by Tom Taylor. Second edition. 3 vols., London, 1853.

5. The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt, with Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries. 3 vols., London, 1850.

6. The Poetical Works of John Keats. With a memoir by Richard Monckton Milnes. London, 1854.

7. The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt. [Revised edition, edited by Thornton Hunt.] London, 1860.

8. The Vicissitudes of Keats's Fame: an article by Joseph Severn in the _Atlantic Monthly Magazine_ for 1863 (vol. xi. p. 401).

9. The Life and Letters of John Keats. By Lord Houghton. New edition, London, 1867.

10. Recollections of John Keats: an article by Charles Cowden Clarke in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1874 (N. S. vol. xii. p. 177). Afterwards reprinted with modifications in Recollections of Writers, by Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke. London, 1878.

11. The Papers of a Critic. Selected from the writings of the late Charles Wentworth Dilke. With a biographical notice by Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Bart., M.P. 2 vols., London, 1875.

12. Benjamin Robert Haydon: Correspondence and Table-Talk. With a memoir by Frederic Wordsworth Haydon. 2 vols., London, 1876.

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