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2. Keats' Letters
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore some of the letters that Keats wrote to his friends, which can often give us an insight into Keats’ preoccupations and philosophy of poetry. In particular, we think about his statement “O for a life of sensation rather than of thoughts”, he description of Negative Capability, and his view of Wordsworth as a poet who humanises epic poetry, but has perhaps gone too far in making it all about himself.
In this course, Professor Jon Mee (University of York) explores the life and poetry of the great Romantic poet, John Keats. We begin by looking at Keats’ background, including his family, early education, and his career, before exploring Keats’ letters. After that, we turn to some of the figures of speech that are commonly found in Keats’ poetry, before thinking about some of Keats’ most famous poems, including: On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again, When I Have Fears That I may Cease to Be, Hyperion, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on Melancholy, and To Autumn.
Jon Mee is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies in the English Department at the University of York. Prior to this, he was spent seven years at the University of Warwick as Professor of English and over a decade in the English Faculty at Oxford where he was Margaret Candfield Fellow in English at University College and Professor of Literature of the Romantic Period. Prior to moving to Oxford, Jon was a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University. He did his undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne followed by a PhD at Cambridge.
Jon's most recent monograph is Conversable Worlds: Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press) based on research funded by a Phillip J. Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. It will be published in paperback in October 2013. During the course of working on the book, he held fellowships at the University of Chicago (2008), the Yale Centre for British Art (2009), and the Australian National University (2009). He has also recently published The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens and an essay on 'Popular Radical Culture' in The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s. Other forthcoming work includes the 15000 word plus omni-review of work in the early nineteenth-century for the journal Studies in English Literature. He is a series co-editor for Pickering & Chatto’s series The Enlightenment World.
He has just completed an AHRC fellowship to write a book on the print culture of popular radicalism in London in the 1790s. He is also currently the PI a Leverhulme Major Project Grant to form a group to work on 'Networks of Improvement: Literary Clubs and Societies, 1760-1840'. The project is interested in the circulation of ideas of all kinds through various networks (regional, national, colonial) in the period and also the construction of ideas of the ‘literary’ in relation to such networks.
Cite this Lecture
Mee, J. (2018, August 15). The Poetry of John Keats - Keats' Letters [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-poetry-of-john-keats/keats-letters
Mee, Jon. "The Poetry of John Keats – Keats' Letters." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-poetry-of-john-keats/keats-letters