Keats, John (17951821)

Keats, John, was the son of a livery-stable proprietor, born at Finsbury, London; never went to a university, but was apprenticed to a London surgeon, and subsequently practised medicine himself in London; abandoning his profession in 1817, he devoted himself to literature, made the acquaintance of Leigh Hunt, Hazlitt, Lamb, Wordsworth, and other literary men; left London for Carisbrooke, moved next year to Teignmouth, but on a visit to Scotland contracted what proved to be consumption; in 1819 he was betrothed to Miss Fanny Browne, and struggled against ill-health and financial difficulties till his health completely gave way in the autumn of 1820; accompanied by the artist Joseph Severn he went to Naples and then to Rome, where, in the spring following, he died; his works were three volumes of poetry, “Poems” 1817, “Endymion” 1818, “Lamia, Isabella and other Poems,” including “Hyperion” and “The Eve of St. Agnes” 1820; he never reached maturity in his art, but the dignity, tenderness, and imaginative power of his work contained the highest promise; he was a man of noble character, sensitive, yet strong, unselfish, and magnanimous, by some regarded as the most original of modern poets (17951821).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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