John Keats And Literature

John Keats, one of the greatest English poets and a major figure in the Romantic
movement, was born in 1795 in Moorfields, London. His father died when he was
eight and his mother when he was fourteen; these circumstances drew him
particularly close to his two brothers, George and Tom, and his sister Fanny.

Keats was well educated at a school in Enfield, where he began a translation of

Virgil\'s Aeneid. In 1810 he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. His first
attempts at writing poetry date from about 1814, and include an \'Imitation\' of
the Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser. In 1815 he left his apprenticeship and
became a student at Guy\'s Hospital, London; one year later, he abandoned the
profession of medicine for poetry. Keats\'s first volume of poems was published
in 1817. It attracted some good reviews, but these were followed by the first of
several harsh attacks by the influential Blackwood\'s Magazine. Undeterred, he
pressed on with his poem \'Endymion\', which was published in the spring of the
following year. Keats toured the north of England and Scotland in the summer of

1818, returning home to nurse his brother Tom, who was ill with tuberculosis.

After Tom\'s death in December he moved into a friend\'s house in Hampstead, now
known as Keats House. There he met and fell deeply in love with a young
neighbour, Fanny Brawne. During the following year, despite ill health and
financial problems, he wrote an astonishing amount of poetry, including \'The Eve
of St Agnes\', \'La Belle Dame sans Merci\', \'Ode to a Nightingale\' and \'To

Autumn\'. His second volume of poems appeared in July 1820; soon afterwards, by
now very ill with tuberculosis, he set off with a friend to Italy, where he died
the following February.