This volume in the 21st-Century Oxford Authors series offers students and readers a comprehensive selection of the work of John Keats (1795-1821). Accompanied by full scholarly apparatus, this authoritative edition enables students to study Keats's work afresh, bringing his poetry and letters together in chronological order.
The backbone of this volume is provided by the poems published in Keats's lifetime--the three volumes, Poems (1817), Endymion (1818), and Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820), together with the small number of poems he published elsewhere. But a much larger body of Keats's writing was seen only in manuscript, if at all, by Keats's friends and family--the unpublished poems which include the dream vision, The Fall
of Hyperion, his annotations of Shakespeare and Milton, and, above all, his extraordinary letters. These are placed at the date on which they were written or at their probable date.
This selection of poems, prose, and letters therefore creates a double time scheme. It places the poetry by which Keats was known to a frequently antagonistic reading public in his lifetime within the extensive biographical context provided by his unpublished poems and letters. This substantial body of manuscript evidence, some of it not discovered until the twentieth-century and none of it known to Keats's reading public, is now part of our understanding of his life and work, and allows us to follow his extraordinary intellectual, emotional, and artistic self-making in the three short years between
Poems (1817) and 1820.
Explanatory notes and commentary are included to enhance the study, understanding, and enjoyment of these works, and the edition includes an Introduction to the life of Keats, and a Chronology.