All of Keats’s poetry is available in one volume entitled The Complete Poems. This book is edited by John Barnard and was published in 1977 by Penguin. The Modern Library also has a volume entitled The Complete Poems of John Keats, published in 1994, but it uses a revised version of “La Belle Dame sans Merci” that almost no other publisher uses.
Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe was published the same year as “La Belle Dame sans Merci.” It is a tale of knights and sorcery set in the Middle Ages and began a trend in historical fiction that has come to characterize the romantic movement.
Since Keats presents his knight as turning pale and drawn, literally dying of lovesickness, students might want to read Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking 1978 essay “Illness as Metaphor.” It was republished in 2001 by Picador USA in one volume with the sequel essay, “AIDS and Its Metaphors.”
Keats’s own death at the young age of twentysix is the subject of John Evangelist Walsh’s 1999 book Darkling I Listen: The Last Days and Death of John Keats, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Andrew Motion’s acclaimed biography Keats provides one of the most thorough portraits of the poet available. It is available in a 1999 paperback edition from the University of Chicago Press.
Keats’s name is almost always mentioned along with that of his friend and fellow romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The most dependable, authoritative text of Shelley’s poetry available is the 1977 edition entitled Shelley’s Poetry and Prose, selected and edited by Donald H. Reiman and Sharon B. Powers and published by W. W. Norton & Company.
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