January 2, 2016

John Keats 

Major poet from the English Romantic movement.


  • Full Name: John Keats
    John Keats
  • Pseudonym: None
  • Date of Birth: 31 October 1795
  • Place of Birth: Moorgate, London , England
  • Baptism: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpion
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 23 February 1821
  • Place of Death: Rome, Papal States
  • Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
  • Place of Burial: Protestant Cemetery, Rome
  • Epitaphs:
This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water
  • Father: Thomas Keats (?-1804)
  • Mother: Frances Jennings Keats (?-1810)
  • Siblings: 3 brothers and 1 sister
1. Brother: George Keats (1797-1841)
2. Brother: Tom Keats (1799-1818)
3. Brother: Edward Keats (1801-1802)
4. Sister: Frances Mary "Fanny" Keats (1803-1889)
  • Marriage: Never Married
  • FiancĂ©: Fanny Brawne (1800-1865)
  • Alma Mater: King's College London
  • Known for: his rich and melodious verse with vivid imagery, which evokes high sensuousness and often expresses a philosophy though mythological reference.
  • Criticized for: not dealing with the current political, social or religious events of the day.
  • Influences: Edmund Spenser (1552/1553–1599), Michael Drayton (1563–1631), William Shakespeare(1564–1616), John Donne (1572 –1631), William Browne(c. 1590 – c. 1645), John Milton (1608–1674), William Wordsworth (1770 –1850), Leigh Hunt (1784 –1859), Lord Byron (1788 –1824).
  • Influenced: Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809 –1892), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 –1882), Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), W.B. Yeats (1865–1939), Edward Thomas (1878–1917), Wallace Stevens (1879–1955), D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930), T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), Wilfred Owen (1893–1918), Philip Larkin (1922 –1985), Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013), Dan Simmons (1948), and Neil Gaiman (1960)


"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness."John Keats, Endymion

Major Themes

  • Nature
  • Beauty
  • Melancholy
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Life
  • Death
  • Art
  • Escapism
  • Ideal Vs Reality
  • Separation Vs Connection

Notable Works:

  • Poems (1817)
  • Endymion (1818)
  • "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1819)
  • "Ode to a Nightingale" (1819)
  • "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (1819)
  • "On Autumn" (1820)
  • Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820)

Did You Know?

  • Keats’ father was a livery-stable keeper.
  • John Keats was the eldest of the four surviving children to his parents.
  • Keats was eight years old when his father died.
  • His father died of a skull fracture, suffered when he fell from his horse while returning home from visiting John and George at Enfield school.
  • Within a year of his father’s death Keats’ mother married William Rawlings, a stable-keeper, but the marriage did not last long.
  • Keats died of tuberculosis, the disease which killed his mother and Tom,his brother.
  • Although he engaged with Fanny Brawne, the tuberculosis ceased him from marrying her.
  • Along with Byron and Shelley, Keats represented the second generation of Romantic poets.
  • Despite being one of the major members of the Romantic Movement, Keats was never directly associated with the other poets of the movement and he often felt uneasy amongst them.
  • During his death Keats requested to add a short phrase on his tombstone (Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water). However, his two close friends Joseph Severn and Charles Brown decided to extend the epitaph with a few additional phrases.
  • Upon Keats’ death his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley composed the elegy Adonais.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley died just one year after Keats and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome, where Keats is also buried.
  • Keats’ poetry received fierce criticism from the then critics, yet his reputation has proved to be more enduring than the names of any of his critics.
  • He studied medicine at a London hospital and became a licensed apothecary in 1816. But he never practiced to pursue his dream of becoming a poet.
  • Despite the fact that his life spanned just 25 years and wrote only 54 poems, his accomplishment is more remarkable compared to his short lifetime.
  • During his lifetime Keats published only three books of poetry.
  • Keats' Endymion is a four-thousand-line long poem based on the Greek myth.
  • Keats’s letters suggest that his first female friend was Isabella Jones who he met in May 1817. Although it is not clear how intense the relationship was but possibly Keats had sexual relationship with her.
  • In 1818 Keats fell in love with a woman named Fanny Brawne.
  • The romance between Keats and Fanny became known seven years after her death when her children sold the love letters. Until then, Fanny was just a secret lover of Keats as her identity was unknown to the world.
  • The Fall of Hyperion remained unpublished until more than three decades after Keats' death.
  • In the year 1819 Keats contracted tuberculosis and his health deteriorated rapidly.
  • Before Keats left for Rome Fanny gave him a journal and paper so he could write to her, but Keats neither wrote to her nor opened any of her letters. She also gave him an oval marble which she used to cool her hands while sewing, which Keats held in his hands till his death.
  • In his lifetime Keats had very insignificant readership and his genius was fully recognized long after his demise.
  • During his lifetime he managed to publish only three volumes of poetry and was able to sell only 200 copies out of these works.
  • Keats nursed Tom when he became seriously ill due to tuberculosis, thereby exposing himself to the deadly infection.
  • After hearing Keats’ death news Fanny mourned for six long years and subsequently married more than 12 years after his death.


" Fanny Brawne Biography & Facts.” English History. 2015. English History.
5 December 2015 < http://englishhistory.net/keats/fanny-brawne/>.

"John Keats.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 December 2015

“John Keats” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

"John Keats: Biography.” Shmoop. 2015. Shmoop University. 5 December 2015
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