John Keats, 1999


Cook, Elizabeth, ed.  Selected Poetry, by John Keats.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999.

Keenlyside, Perry, comp.  Realms of Gold: Letters and Poems of John Keats.  [2 audio compact discs.]  Read by Samuel West and Matthew Marsh.  [Germany]: Naxos Audiobooks, 1999.

McMahon, Lynn.  "Anniversary."  Washington Post Book World (31 October 1999): 12.

A poem acknowledging Keats's birthday and printed along with Keats's "This Living Hand." 

Weil, James L.  "From the Life: A Letter from Joseph Severn to John Taylor."  KSJ 48 (1999): 20-21.

Brief commentary and complete transcription of a letter from Severn to Taylor, 21 January, 1825.  The letter, now in the Morgan Library, originally accompanied a sketch of Keats.


Abrams, M. H.  "Keats's Poems: The Material Dimensions." In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp  (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 36-53.

Abrams brackets the various approaches to Keats's poems that concentrate on "content" or "ideas" and looks instead at Keats's style.  The aim is to explore and clarify what is meant by the term "Keatsian," and Abrams identifies a distinctive materiality at the core, a materiality both in the form of a richness and complexity of sound and in a referential concreteness of image and expression.  As Abrams expresses it, "To read him rightly, we need to recognize that he is preeminently a poet of one world, however painful his awareness of the shortcomings of that world when measured against the reach of human desire.  And Keats's one world is the material world of this earth, this life, and this body—this sexual body with all its avidities and its full complement of the sense, internal as well as external, and what traditionally are called the 'lower' no less than the 'higher' senses" (44).

Alderman, Nigel James.  "Romantic Ambitions: Excursions Towards the Professional Imagination (William Wordsworth, John Keats, Thomas Carlyle, Poetry)."  Ph.D. diss.,  Duke U, 1999, DAI, 60-05A (1999): 1569, 216 pages.

From Alderman's abstract: "This dissertation charts the emergence of a professional imagination in William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Thomas Carlyle. It argues that these writers went through a historically symptomatic vocational crisis.  That is to say, their decision to be writers was formulated not simply according to what each wanted to do for a living, but rather according to what and who each wanted to be; that is to say, how each could reflexively construct his self as a coherent social and private identity founded upon the practice of writing.  They refused to consider writing a trade, situating themselves in opposition to the increasing dominance of a consumer-driven market.  Instead, they considered their practice not only a vocation, arguing they were duty-bound to follow their desired calling, but also a career, urging its viability as a progressive, biographical trajectory of social advancement."

Barfoot, C. C., ed.  Victorian Keats and Romantic Carlyle: The Fusions and Confusions of Literary Periods.  Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1999. 

This collection of essays, drawn from papers presented at the 9th Leiden October Conference in 1995, begins with the odd fact that both Keats and Carlyle were born in the same year but that they have come to find their canonical places in different literary periods.  This becomes the basis for a broader interrogation of literary periods.

Bate, Walter Jackson.  "The Endurance of Keats."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp  (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 54-56.

Brief, anecdotal piece identifying some reasons why Keats's poetry has endured in the canon of English literature.

Boland, Eavan.  "The Limits of the Imagination." In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998) 82-87.

Boland celebrates the unusual gifts of a fellow poet: "No poet I can think of encountered that art [poetry] more humanely than John Keats.  No poet left it more ready for the testing times which are ahead of it" (87).

Bornstein, George.  "How to Read a Page: Modernism and Material Textuality."  Studies in the Literary Imagination 32.1 (Spring 1999): 29-60.

In a discussion of the material presentation of words on the page, one of Bornstein's key examples involves the various manuscript and print embodiments of Keats's "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer."

Bromwich, David.  "Keats and the Aesthetic Ideal."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998) 183-88.

This brief essay identifies Keats as the supreme theorist and exemplar of "the aesthetic sense of poetry."  Bromwich contends that Keats's letters and poems focus on the sheer discipline of poetry, on the sacrifice made in the name of art.  The essay concludes with a list of six aesthetic principles—distilled from Keats's writing—that define the modern work of art.

Burton, James.  "Keats and Coldness."  KSR 13 (1999): 15-23.

The essay concentrates on the representation of "coldness" in Keats's poems, arguing that the sense can elicit a kind of existential intersubjectivity between poem and readers.  Burton discusses especially "La Belle Dame sans Merci," The Eve of St. Agnes, and "This Living Hand."

Cox, JeffreyPoetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and Their Circle.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 

"Jeffrey N. Cox refines our conception of 'second-generation' Romanticism by placing it within the circle of writers around Leigh Hunt that came to be known as the Cockney School. Offering a theory of the group as a key site for cultural production, Cox challenges the traditional image of the Romantic poet as an isolated figure by recreating the social nature of the work of Shelley, Keats, Hunt, Hazlitt, Byron, and others as they engaged in literary contests, wrote poems celebrating one another, and worked collaboratively on journals and other projects.  Cox also recovers the work of neglected writers such as John Hamilton Reynolds, Horace Smith, and Cornelius Webb as part of the rich social and cultural context of Hunt's circle.  This book not only demonstrates convincingly that a Cockney School existed, but shows that it was committed to putting literature in the service of social, cultural, and political reform."  And one might add to this reasonably accurate and comprehensive dustjacket description that Cox implicity reorganizes the now conventional way of arranging the later Romantic writers into various author-centered "circles"—e.g. "The Shelley Circle"—arguing instead for the designation of a distinct, unified, and prolific literary-cultural "School."

de Almeida, Hermione.  "Prophetic Extinction and the Misbegotten Dream in Keats."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 165-82.

Hermione de Almeida writes primarily about the Hyperion poems, concentrating on the peculiarity of extinction in a pre-Darwinian world: "I focus in particular on the novelty of the concept of extinction during the period and its connection to contemporary Romantic notions about the misconceived or misbegotten creations of the mind" (165).  What emerges is an argument that has much to say about extinction, evolution, and the conception of history.  Indeed, de Almeida finds that history itself is represented in the poems as "neither grand and Hegelian nor giant and Titanic.  It is natural, interrupted and brief, and, like a dream, seen only in its moments of ending" (179).

Deane, Nichola.  "Keats's Lover's Discourse and the Letters to Fanny Brawne."  KSR 13 (1999): 105-14.

Deane reads the self representations in Keats's letters to Fanny Brawne using the model developed by Roland Barthes in his A Lover's Discourse (1977): "In examining the sexual and sentimental excesses of Keats's letters to Fanny Brawne, I hope to defamiliarise this both over-familiar, and, paradoxically, neglected correspondence, highlighting its importance both as a factor in determining Keats's posthumous reputation, and its centrality to the broader 'lover's discourse' which pervades Keats's work" (106).

Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning.  "Keats's Sonnet 'To Sleep,' Sidney, Drummond, Daniel and Beaumont and Fletcher."  ELN 36.3 (March 1999): 61-67.

Edgecombe identifies several sources and even "borrowings" in Keats's sonnet, eventually placing the Keats poem in the context of Romantic era plagiarism, or, more accurately, a kind of literary appropriation and transformation.

Endo, Paul.  "Seeing Romanticism in 'Lamia.'"  ELH 66.1 (Spring 1999): 111-28.

Endo considers Keats's later romances—especially Lamia—and points to a shortcoming not of the title character's ability to sustain illusion but rather of the inadequacy of rationality to fully grasp the multifarious condition of reality.

Epstein, Andrew.  "'Flowers that Mock the Corse Beneath': Shelley's Adonais, Keats, and Poetic Influence."  KSJ 48 (1999): 90-128.

Epstein sees Adonais as Shelley's deliberate response to Keats's famous admonition to "load every rift with ore."  The resulting poem is fraught with ambivalence and contradiction—the consequence of Shelley's complex relationship with Keats as both brother and rival:  "The pervasive undecidability that colors Adonais's content, structure, and imagery stems as much from Shelley's relationship with Keats's poems and his ambivalent feelings about Keats and poetic independence, as from Shelley's characteristic penchant for unstable and self-contentious rhetorical figures" (94).

Epstein, Joseph.  "The Medical Keats."  Hudson Review 52.1 (Spring 1999): 44-64.

The essay recounts the familiar circumstances of Keats's biography with particular emphasis on his early medical training.  Epstein wonders what might have happened had Keats been able to live through a normal life span.

Faflak, Joel Robert.  "Subjects Presumed to Know: The Scene of Romantic Psychoanalysis (Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Thomas De Quincey)."  Ph.D. diss., U of Western Ontario, 1999, DAI, 60-08A (1999): 2938, 350 pages.

Franta, Andrew.  "Keats and the Review Aesthetic."  SIR 38.3 (Fall 1999): 343-64.

The essay examines Keats's conflicted relationship with a reading public—on the one hand courting favor with a readership and on the other rejecting the idea that he might be writing to satisfy an audience rather than the pure dictates of a love of poetry.  Keats's early poems especially represent "not an escape from the kind of disputes that characterize the literary market and the reading audience but a site that reflects and reviews the conflicts of the market and the public" (344).  The examination of Keats's relations with a reading public and with the reviews enables Franta to speculate about the more general issue of the rise of a mass readership and to consider the complex and historically specific relationships between aesthetic experience and critical judgment.

Henderson, Andrea.  “Keats, Tighe, and the Chastity of Allegory.”  ERR 10.3 (Summer 1999): 279-306.

Focusing on conceptions of identity, subjectivity, and "soul-making," Henderson finds Keats to be split between "an effort to adhere to masculine ideals of soul-making" but at the same time "enjoying some of the specifically literary benefits of the feminine image of the soul" (280).  Loosely speaking, this generates an inner tension between the aspiring poet who seeks to forge a distinct identity and the poet of "negative capability" who "has no self."  Henderson pursues the argument by way of a detailed comparitive analysis of Tighe's Psyche and Keats's "Ode to Psyche."

Hoagwood, Terence Allan.  "Keats and the Critical Tradition: The Topic of History."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 153-64.

Hoagwood distinguishes between two ways of relating Keats to history: an "inside story" which is essentially the development of Keats as a kind of professional subject or "segment on a syllabus produced for occupational reasons," and an "outside story" which considers how Keats has fit into the larger social world.  The former approach relies on close reading and subtle interpretation.  But, Hoagwood concludes, "It is probably outside the poems' strictly verbal formations—outside their textual nuance—that their real-life meanings are found and made" (161).

Jarvis, RobinRomantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel.  New York: St. Martin's P, 1999.

Jarvis argues that the popularity of walking during the 1790s and after had a powerful and heretofore unacknowledged influence on the writing of the Romantics, particularly Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats.  In effect, Jarvis suggests that the physical act of walking fosters a distinctly Romantic creativity that is founded in the movement of the body.

Jones, Elizabeth.  "The Cockney School of Poetry: Keats in the Suburbs."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 120-31.

Jones focuses on the class and cultural significance of the fact that Keats lived in the trendy suberb of Hampstead: "Keats's early poetry offers a literary parallel to a rapidly changing British urban landscape and allows us to see his being criticized for 'vulgarity' in the light of a changing cultural consciousness that threatened some of the cherished values of Britain's established classes" (120).  A longer version of the essay appeared in the Keats-Shelley Journal 45 (1996): 23-43.

Ketchian, Sonia A.  "In the Forest with Anna Akhmatova and John Keats."  KSJ 48 (1999): 138-56.

Keats's poetry was relatively little-known in nineteenth-century Russia, but Ketchian discovers an early (1911) influence in the work of Akhmatova.  The Russian poet "was so fully aware of Keats that in her early poem 'In the Forest' she reconceptualizes a concentrated moment of high tragedy from his 'Isabella, Or the Pot of Basil,' with her very title reverberating with allusion" (156).

Lawrence, Elizabeth A.  "Melodious Truth: Keats, a Nightingale, and the Human/Nature Boundary."  Isle: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment  [Reno] 6.2 (1999): 21-30.

Lee, Debbie.  "Poetic Voodoo in Lamia: Keats in the Possession of African Magic."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 132-52.

Seeing Lamia's palace as an allegorical representation of Africa and Lamia's ability to cast spells as a representation of African magic, Lee reads Keats's late narrative in terms of colonial explorations.  The result is both revivifying and dangerous: "Keats takes hold of or possesses Lamia's African mysteries and so re-enlivens his poetic imagination.  At the same time, the poem sounds a cautionary note: British possession of African magic could be brutally destructive to both cultures" (133).  The danger implicit in casting spells is likened on the one hand to a kind of voodoo and on the other to Keats's own practice of writing poetry.

Levine, Philip.  "On First Looking into John Keats's Letters."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 201-11.

An autobiographical account of Levine's initial encounters with Keats's poems and letters: Keats, for Levine, is "an extraordinary human soul animating us still" (211).

Lopez, Debbie.  "Liberties with Lamia: The 'Gordian Knot' of Relations between Keats and Hawthorne."  Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations  2.2 (October 1998): 141-60.

McFarland, ThomasThe Mask of Keats: The Endeavour of a Poet.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.

McGlone, Matthew S. and Jessica Tofighbakhsh.  "The Keats Heuristic: Rhyme as Reason in Aphorism Interpretation."  Poetics 26.4 (May 1999): 235-44.

This article presents the results of an experiment in which subjects were asked to weigh the accuracy of given aphorisms, some of which rhymed.  The experiment suggests that people's sense of the "truth" of a claim is linked to aesthetic design of the language.

Mizukoshi, Ayumi. "The Cockney Politics of Gender — the Cases of Hunt and Keats." RoN 14 (May 1999): <>.

Situating the Cockney School writers—especially Hunt and Keats—within an emergent middle-class ideology (with all its gendered assumptions), Mizukoshi illustrates how the Cockneys "adopted and appropriated ubiquitous gendered language in order to legitimise their bourgeois poetics and politics."  One particularly cogent observation demonstrates that Keats's reputation as a "strong" poet with distinctly masculine aspirations—in contrast to the effeminate Hunt—is a twentieth-century critical redaction of the emergent gendered politics of the early nineteenth-century.

Pitha, J. Jakub.  "Narrative Theory and Romantic Poetry (Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron)."  Ph.D. diss., U of South Carolina, 1999, DAI, 60-04A (1999): 1146, 183 pages.

Pitha sees lyric poetry and narrative poetry as "points on a continuum of narrative" rather than as distinct modes of literary production.  Having thus formulated these generic categories, the dissertation offers readings of Romantic-era poems using the techniques of narrative theory.  With respect to the later Romantics, Pitha focuses most closely on Keats ("Grecian Urn," Eve of St. Agnes) and Byron (Don Juan).

Reiman, Donald H. "Keats and the Third Generation."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 109-19.

Reiman contends that Keats was not so much one of the three canonical second-generation Romantic poets as the best of the third generation of Romantics.  Looked at in this way, the mismatch between Keats and the other Romantics becomes an issue more of generational difference than of social class.  This third generation was made up of writers who emerged from the middle classes rather than the aristocracy and who were motivated into literature by a drive toward self-expression rather than classical training.  The consequences of this approach are rather far-reaching: "John Keats's fame and influence have grown in our day because he was the nineteenth century's best twentieth-century poet" (117).

Robinson, Jeffrey CReception and Poetics in Keats: "My Ended Poet."  New York: St. Martin's P, 1998.

A study of the numerous poems of praise for and commemoration of Keats.  Robinson divides the study into two large sections: first, a reception history that focuses on commemorative poems of various sorts (including Adonais), and second, "a sketch of what [Robinson] believe[s] to be a more vital Keatsian poetics both in terms of familiar poems and of those that tend to be neglected or relegated to a minor place in his ouvre" (7).  The book has a useful Appendix which reproduces many of the poems mentioned in the text.

Ruston, Sharon, comp., with Lidia GarbinThe Influence and Anxiety of the British Romantics.  Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen P, 1999.

This collection of essays—originally papers delivered at the 1998 conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies in Liverpool—considers the preoccupation of Romantic writers with ghosts.  The term "ghosts" is very broadly construed, referring to such diverse textual elements as the hauntings of intertextuality, authorial presence, and the "spectres" of a writer's influential precursors.  Following a preface by John Whale and an Introduction by Ruston, the collection offers essays on Charlotte Dacre, Blake, Wordsworth, Peacock, Percy Shelley, Keats, Beddoes, and Henry James.

Sharp, Ronald A.  "Keats and Friendship."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 66-81.

Sharp discusses the importance of—and Keats's dedication to—a close circle of friends including Cowden Clarke, Joseph Severn, Benjamin Bailey, John Hamilton Reynolds, Charles Brown, Leigh Hunt, and others: "from beginning to end, Keats's was a life densely crowded and textured with friendships and resonant with friends' voices.  He was aware of the importance of friendship and profoundly reflective about its nature" (66).  In Sharp's view, Keats's poems are thus imbued with a kind of open-hearted friendliness that could acknowledge both the joys and the sorrows of personal relationships: "What I want to emphasize here is that Keats's ability to accept the sorrow inherent in friendship without reducing friendship to therapy accounts in large measure for the authenticity—the lack of meretriciousness—of both his empathy and his delight" (80).  The essay also appears in the Kenyon Review, 21.1 (1999): 124-37.

Sharp, Ronald A.  "Keats and Friendship."  Kenyon Review 21.1 (1999): 124-37.

See above.

Siegel, Jonah.  "Among the English Poets: Keats, Arnold, and the Placement of Fragments."  VP 37.2 (Summer 1999): 215-31.

Siegel uses Keats's poetry as a prime example of the effects of anthologizing an English literary tradition in the nineteenth century.  The argument "presents the reception of Keats in mid- and late-Victorian England as characteristic of a certain anxious relation to the accumulation of cultural knowledge directly related to that motivating the later nineteenth-century anthology."  As Siegel expresses it, Keats "came to have the effect he did in Victorian culture in part because he so well represented emergent notions of accumulation and organization" (215).

Steiner, George.  "The Dog Did Not Bark: A Note on Keats in Translation."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 189-200.

Brief discourse on the odd fact that Keats seems very much "English-centered."  Poetic translations make up very little of Keats's writing (in contrast to, say, Shelley or Byron), and Keats's poems are far less available and influential in translation than other poets' works. 

Stillinger, Jack.  "Multiple Readers, Multiple Texts, Multiple Keats."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 10-35.

"I am interested in what happens when each of the principal elements of the literary transaction—author, text, and reader—is viewed as a complex of multiples.  My aim is to explain, first, why there are so many different ideas of what a Keats poem means and, second, why we think Keats was a great poet" (14).  Finally, Stillinger comes to a conclusion involving a version of authorial intent: "Who is ultimately responsible for this grand complexity of author, text, and reader?  I believe the one indispensable element is the author." (30).  The essay concludes with an appendix listing 59 very different critical approaches to Keats's Eve of St. Agnes.

Stillinger, JackReading the Eve of St. Agnes: The Multiples of Complex Literary Transaction.  New York: Oxford UP, 1999.

This study considers Keats's Eve of St. Agnes not so much to forward any one "right" reading but rather to focus attention on the multiple complexities of writing, reading and interpretation.  Stillinger sets forth his own position in the Preface: his aim is to show that the apparently conservative notion that there are "major authors" who wrote "major works" and the apparently radical notion that there is no one right interpretation to any literary work are not necessarily incompatible beliefs.  As Stillinger explains it, "My ideal is, in effect, interpretive democracy, and, like political democracy, it negotiates between individual freedom . . . and some familiar restraints (in the form of factuality, comprehensiveness, and consensus)" (ix).  The book includes chapters on theory and methodology, on the complexities of both authorship and readerships, and, perhaps most interestingly, on a listing of 59 different interpretations of the poem, each with some supporting commentary.  An Appendix presents a complete reading text of St. Agnes, with apparatus.  [See also Stillinger's essay in the Ryan-Sharp collection, # 602 above.]

Turley, Richard Marggraf.  "Indolent Minds, Indolent Men, and 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer.'"  RES 50.198 (May 1999): 204-07.

Points to a more prominent influence of Charles Cowden Clarke on Keats than has heretofore been acknowledged.

Waddington, Keith.  "Pictures and Poetry.  Debunking the Bunk: An Examination of Picturesque Influence (William Wordsworth, John Keats)."  M.A. thesis, Concordia U (Canada), 1998, MAI, 37-06 (1999): 1618, 144 pages.

Walsh, John EvangelistDarkling I Listen: The Last Days and Death of John Keats.  New York: St. Martin's P, 1999.

An elegiac, biographical account of Keats's last days in Italy.  Walsh includes a good deal of information about Fanny Brawne.

Ward, Aileen.  "Keats and Endurance."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 57-65.

The essay—part of a celebration of Keats's 200th birthday—offers a kind of meditation on the endurance of Keats's writing and a poignant commentary on the relationship between the quality of the late works and the poet's knowledge of his own impending death.

White, R. S.  "Keats and the Crisis of Medicine."  KSR 13 (1999): 58-75.

Biographical and historical account of Keats's experience in medicine, especially the years at Guys Hospital and the difficult decision to leave medicine for poetry.  White finds that one motivation for Keats's move was that "his own teachers were in the forefront of the radical revolution [in medical science] with which he found himself out of sympathy" (75).

Wolfson, Susan J.  "Keats and Gender Criticism."  In The Persistence of Poetry: Bicentennial Essays on Keats, ed. Robert M. Ryan and Ronald A. Sharp (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1998), 88-108.

Wolfson sees Keats (both writer and biographical subject) as contradictory and multifarious: "His overall syntax of gender is more zigzag than linear, and the total story more indeterminate than definitive" (90).  The discussion describes a kind of perplexity and "indolence"—borrowing a key Keatsian term and adapting it to the intricately gendered terms in which Keats pursued a (masculine) ambition for Fame while recognizing this drive as itself a "rival to the heart in love" (103).

Woolford, John.  "Keats Among the Mountains."  EIC 49.1 (January 1999): 22-43.

Focusing on Keats's encounters with a supposedly sublime and mountainous landscape (e.g. the 1818 walking tour), Woolford discovers an increasingly precise sense of disillusionment and disappointment.  This sense, worked through in both the letters and the poems, shows Keats to be dedicating himself to the art of the beautiful and rejecting "the austerity of the mountainous sublime to which Wordsworth (and Milton) had been committed" (40).

Ziegenhagen, Timothy Eugene.  "Reading the Book of Nature: Romantic Literature and Romantic Science from William Wordsworth to Thomas De Quincey (John Keats, Humphry Davy, Mary Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge)."  Ph.D. diss., Southern Illinois U at Carbondale, 1999, DAI, 60-08A, (1999): 2945, 238 pages.

"By using rhetorical figures and even the experimental strategies of scientific writers like Buffon, Priestley, Beddoes, and Davy, Romantic literary authors were able to critique the underlying assumptions about the 'natural' origins of political power and to overturn a static view of nature in favor of a more progressive, transformative one. Rigid systems—political and literary—are oftentimes figured in period works of literature as unhealthy and diseased. Closed off from the renewing cycles of an everchanging and vital nature, these systems are prone to pathological manifestations. Disease, in this paradigm, enables change in stagnant social structures and signifies an inevitable return to health—for the state of literature and also society in general."  The dissertation proceeds through discussions of Coleridge, Keats ("The Fall of Hyperion"), Humphry Davy, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), and De Quincey ("The English Mail-Coach").

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