The letters of John Keats begin in 1816 and end with his death in 1821. They are very much a personal record, so much so that their publication in the nineteenth century occasioned notable critical hostility. The Victorians were shocked by these letters. Men like Matthew Arnold and even Algernon Swinburne stated that they were too emotional, and should not be presented to public view. Modern criticism has taken a completely different viewpoint; the love letters are acknowledged to be among the greatest of their kind and the passages on criticism are now thought to be major documents of Romantic aesthetics.
The correspondents of Keats were Benjamin Bailey 1791-1853 a friend to whom Keats addressed a number of letters with matters of importance from a critical point of view; Fanny Brawne (1800-1865), the subject of the famous love letters; Charles Armitage Brown (1786-1842), himself a writer; Charles Wentworth Dilke (1789-1864), a generous friend and admirer of the poet; Charles Cowden Clarke (1787-1877), an early friend and literary influence; William Haslam (1795-1851), a school-fellow friend and a financial supporter of Keats; Benjamin Haydon (1786-1846), a painter much admired by the poet; Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), essayist and an early influence on Keats and other writers of the time; Fanny Keats (1803-1889), sister of the poet; George Keats (1797-1841), a brother; Joseph Severn (1793-1879), the poet and diplomat in whose arms Keats died; and Percy...
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