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Reading John Keats

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Part of Reading Writers and their Work

  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521732796

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About the Authors
  • John Keats (1795–1821), one of the best-loved poets of the Romantic period, is ever alive to words, discovering his purposes as he reads - not only books but also the world around him. Leading Keats scholar Susan J. Wolfson explores the breadth of his works, including his longest ever poem Endymion; subsequent romances, Isabella (a Boccaccio tale with a proto-Marxian edge admired by George Bernard Shaw), the passionate Eve of St Agnes and knotty Lamia; intricate sonnets and innovative odes; the unfinished Hyperion project (Keats's existential rethinking of epic agony); and late lyrics involved with Fanny Brawne, the bright (sometimes dark) star of his last years. Illustrated with manuscript pages, title-pages, and two portraits, Reading John Keats investigates the brilliant complexities of Keats's imagination and his genius in wordplay, uncovering surprises and new delights, and encouraging renewed respect for the power of Keats's thinking and the subtle turns of his writing.

    • Focuses on John Keats's reading and his engagements with literary tradition
    • Explores Keats's life and times as a context for appreciating his adventures in literary imagination
    • Features key works such as Endymion, The Fall of Hyperion and La belle dame sans merci
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    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the book presents a chronological journey through Keats’s biographia literaria, a boon for readers of Keats; but Wolfson’s attention to reading is also a movable feast, modeling a process that can be transferred to other writers …' John Kandl, Modern Philology

    'There is perhaps no scholar better suited to the task of reading Keats’s poetry and letters than Wolfson. … teachers of poetry competing with a multiplicity of media for the attention of a young generation of readers will no doubt welcome this loving and lively book.' Emily Rohrbach, The BARS Review

    “In Reading John Keats, Susan Wolfson offers a dazzling tour of Keats’s poetry across the brief, blazoned arc of his career … Over the course of ten svelte, fast-paced chapters, Wolfson assembles an anthology of stunning readings of poetry readers find they may not know quite as well as they presumed. Whether one is looking into Keats’s sonnet on Chapman’s Homer for the first time, one sees - and hears - it anew under Wolfson’s tutelage.' The Wordsworth Circle

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521732796
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Life and times
    2. Conceiving early poems, and Poems
    3. Falling in love with Endymion, A Poetic Romance. Rereading King Lear
    4. Venturing 'new Romance': Isabella
    or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio
    5. Falling with Hyperion
    6. Still romancing: The Eve of St Agnes: a dream-sonnet
    La belle dame
    7. Reforming the sonnet and forming the Odes of 1819: Psyche, Nightingale, Grecian Urn, Melancholy, Indolence
    8. Writhing, wreathing, writing Lamia
    9. Falling in fall 1819: The Fall of Hyperion and To Autumn
    10. Last poems and lasting Keats
    A few famous formulations
    At a glance: Keats in context
    Further reading.

  • Author

    Susan J. Wolfson, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English at Princeton University, New Jersey, is widely published in the fields of English Romanticism and poetic theory, including Keats-inspired sonnets in Literary Imagination (2010) and her books: The Romantics and their Contemporaries (co-edited with Peter Manning, 2010), Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action (2010), John Keats, A Longman Cultural Edition (2007), The Cambridge Companion to John Keats (Cambridge, 2001) and Formal Charges (1997).


    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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