Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 392 pages
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Posthumous Keats is the result of Stanley Plumly's twenty years of reflection on the enduring afterlife of one of England's greatest Romanticists. John Keats's famous epitaph—"Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water"—helped cement his reputation as the archetype of the genius cut off before his time. Keats, dead of tuberculosis at twenty-five, saw his mortality as fatal to his poetry, and therein, Plumly argues, lies his tragedy: Keats thought he had failed in his mission "to be among the English poets."

In this close narrative study, Plumly meditates on the chances for poetic immortality—an idea that finds its purest expression in Keats, whose poetic influence remains immense. Incisive in its observations and beautifully written, Posthumous Keats is an ode to an unsuspecting young poet—a man who, against the odds of his culture and critics, managed to achieve the unthinkable: the elevation of the lyric poem to sublime and tragic status.


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Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography

User Review  - Neal Wyatt - Book Verdict

It is hard not to want to know more about Keats and Brawne, and poet Plumly's linked essays on the life and death of Keats offer a subtle take. In addition to the love affair, Plumly also examines the ... Read full review

Posthumous Keats: a personal biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A beautifully written work that examines Keats's place among his contemporaries and the definition of poetic immortality, this book nevertheless suffers from a confusing organizational scheme. Noted ... Read full review


On He Flared
This Mortal Body
Physician Nature
Season of Mists
Material Sublime
selected bibliography
list of illustrations

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About the author (2008)

Stanley Plumly was born in Barnesville, Ohio, in 1939, and grew up in the lumber and farming regions of Virginia and Ohio. His work has been honored with the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the Academy of Amerian Poets' Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is currently a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at the University of Maryland.

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