200 years of Mellow Fruitfulness

Have you ever looked up at a bright star, set aloft the night sky, and wistfully wondered whether, somewhere, your soulmate was looking up at that very same star? Yes? This one’s for you.

John Keats, the OG young romantic – floppy hair, heartfelt letters, sumptuous poetry, the lot – died on 23rd February 1821. The 200th anniversary of his death in February this year provoked a flurry of interesting (and thought-provoking) articles and productions. Today is the anniversary of one of his most famous poems, ‘To Autumn’, and I thought I’d use the moment to share some of my favourite things I’ve come across recently about him.

If you are feeling a little loving, a little thoughtful, and a little short of time, may I suggest casting your eye over ‘Bright Star‘? Another favourite sonnet of mine is ‘When I have fears‘.

If you want to wallow in Keats’s luxurious aesthetic a little longer, may I suggest the following:

  • Angus Graham-Campbell’s new play, ‘Writ in Water’, starring Billy Howle and Saffron Coomber, which commemorates Keats’s trip to Rome on the Maria Crowther, his passionate relationship with Fanny Brawne, and his eventual death in a small room above the Spanish Steps
  • A Q&A with the self-same Angus Graham-Campbell, discussing ‘Writ in Water’
  • A wander around Winchester on the route Keats took when he composed ‘To Autumn’. Click here for a map.
  • An interactive, multi-media Google Earth Map of Keats’ final voyage to Rome
  • Nicholas Roe’s fantastic, recent biography of Keats, which gives a full-bodied account of Keats
  • A 10 minute talk by Nicholas Roe on ‘The Death of John Keats and his Early Reputation
  • Two In Our Time podcast episodes – The Romantics (on the Romantic period generally) and The Later Romantics (more specifically on Keats and other second generation romantics)
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