The poems of John Keats have never ceased to fascinate and he is now justly celebrated as one of the greatest English poets, his verse rewarding the reader with a wealth of musical riches and highly evocative settings. Keats is also revered as a great thinker in verse and, accordingly, this comprehensive guide to his poetry and letters offers a highly readable and detailed textual analysis of the themes and techniques of his work. John Blades's stimulating in-depth study assesses the whole span of Keats's short career; from the early lyrical experiments, through the great epics, to the brilliant odes of 1819, and the haunting medieval narratives. Drawing on the comments of Keats's associates, Blades puts forward some challenging insights into the poet's methods and theory of poetry. The author goes on to examine the context of the verse through a clearly documented survey of Keats's letters - which highlight the trials and obstacles he faced, his attitude to the turmoil of his period, and above all his great passion for life - and an exploration of the key features of nineteenth century Romanticism.
Concluding with a discussion of the work of four literary critics and their influential responses to Keats's work, this lively and sensitive guide is essential reading for anyone with an interest in a young poet who was very much in accord with the revolutionary currents of his time.