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John Keats

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John Keats was born on October 31, 1795 in London as an oldest child of the four. Both of his parents died by the time he was fourteen. After the tragic death of KeatsЎЇs parents, his maternal grandmother appointed two London merchants, Richard Abbey and John Sandell, to be his guardians. Abbey withdrew Keats from school when Keats was fifteen and apprenticed him with an apothecary-surgeon. In 1816 Keats obtained a license to perform medicine but never got to use it.

Keats met Leigh Hunt, an editor of the Examiner, who was very supportive of him and arranged meetings with other poets such as Percy Shelley and William Wordsworth. The influence of the group enabled Keats to publish his first volume of poetry, Poems by John Keats in 1817. Endymion, an erotic/allegorical romance based on the Greek myth, appeared the following year but was severely attacked by the two influential critical magazine called Quarterly Review and Blackwood's Magazine.

Keats spent the summer of 1818 in Northern England and Scotland, returning home to care for his brother who suffered from tuberculosis. Between 1818 and 1819, Keats mainly worked on "Hyperion," a Miltonic blank-verse epic of the Greek creation myth. In July 1820, he published his third and best volume of poetry, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. The volume also contains the unfinished "Hyperion," and three poems which is considered among the best in the English language, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Melancholy," and "Ode to a Nightingale." The book received praise from Hunt, Shelley, Charles Lamb, and others, and in August, Frances Jeffrey, influential editor of the Edinburgh Review, wrote a review extolling both the new book and Endymion.

"Hyperion" was considered to be KeatsЎЇs greatest achievement, but by that time he had reached an advanced stage of his disease and was too ill to be encouraged.



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