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University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 636 pages
1 Review
Andrew Motion's dramatic narration of Keats's life is the first in a generation to take a fresh look at this great English Romantic poet. Unlike previous biographers, Motion pays close attention to the social and political worlds Keats inhabited. Making incisive use of the poet's inimitable letters, Motion presents a masterful account.

"Motion has given us a new Keats, one who is skinned alive, a genius who wrote in a single month all the poems we cherish, a victim who was tormented by the best doctors of the age. . . . This portrait, stripped of its layers of varnish and restored to glowing colours, should last us for another generation."—Edmund White, The Observer Review

"Keats's letters fairly leap off the page. . . . [Motion] listens for the 'freely associating inquiry and incomparable verve and dash,' the 'headlong charge,' of Keats's jazzlike improvisations, which give us, like no other writing in English, the actual rush of a man thinking, a mind hurtling forward unpredictably and sweeping us along."—Morris Dickstein, New York Times Book Review

"Scrupulous and eloquent."—Gregory Feeley, Philadelphia Inquirer


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User Review  - Neal Wyatt - Book Verdict

As far as pure biography goes, Motion's is a good place to start. He considers the life and work of Keats from a political perspective. While Bright Star only hinted at the politics of the time, Keats ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Whether illuminating Keats's famous lines or unearthing long-occluded facts about the most ill-starred of English Romantic poets, this superb biographical study displays an unusually sensitive ... Read full review


Isabella lines 4956 Keatss draft
Hyperion Book II lines 16790 Keatss fair copy
From The Eve of St Agnes Keatss draft 3401
Ode to Psyche Keatss draft 3835
Ode on a Grecian Urn printed in the Annals of the Fine Arts
Ode to a Nightingale Keatss draft 3969
From Lamia Part I Keatss fair copy
From a letter written to Taylor on 5 September 1819
Bright Star Keatss autograph in Severns copy of Shakespeare
Publishers Advertisement 1820 cancelled and annotated by Keats

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About the author (1999)

Andrew Motion is professor of creative writing at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London and was Poet Laureate of Great Britain from 1999 to 2009. He is the author of many works of poetry, biography, and fiction including Wainewright the Poisoner: The Confessions of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, which is also available from the University of Chicago Press.

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