Two of Britain’s greatest poets are the subject of an exhibition at Keats House, the exhibition is entitled Keats and Milton: Paradise Lost and explores Romantic poet John Keats’s own words and thoughts about Milton’s poetry and reveals some of the impact it had on his own work.
The exhibition runs from 6th December 2017 to 14th October 2018 at Keats House in Hampstead, the Georgian villa in which Keats lived and wrote some of his greatest and most celebrated work.
At the heart of the exhibition is Keats’s own copy of Paradise Lost, one of his most important surviving books which provide a rich source of information on Keats’s thoughts, as it is packed with his handwritten notes and emotional reactions. In the 19th century, this ‘marginalia’ was considered an important form of literary expression and a route to understanding literary works and sharing views about them.
The leather-bound copy of Paradise Lost owned by Keats was published in 1807 in two volumes by booksellers W. and J. Deas. Keats would read the poem with his friend and neighbour Charles Wentworth Dilke. When he left London for Rome, Keats gave both volumes to Mrs Dilke and they remained with her family before being part of its eventual bequest to Keats House.
John Keats untimely death at the age of 25 in Rome left a limited legacy of poetry, but Keats is now considered one of Britain’s finest poets.
Keats House, originally known as Wentworth Place, was built in 1815-16 for the Dilke family and Charles Brown. Keats lodged with Brown from December 1818. The following year, the Dilkes moved away and Fanny Brawne and her family moved into their side of the house, inspiring Keats’s greatest happiness and greatest work.
After Keats left, Wentworth Place was converted into a single dwelling and extended. It was saved from demolition in 1920 and in 1925 became a museum dedicated to Keats. Now it is a museum and poetry centre, bringing to life the memory and legacy of Keats through displays and exhibitions, gardens and a varied events programme.
Keats and Milton: Paradise Lost at Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR.
Exhibition dates: 6 December 2017 – 14 October 2018.
Keats House opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm.
Admission: Adults £6.50; Seniors £5.50; Concessions £4.50; Children 17 and under free of charge.
For more information or to book tickets, visit the Keats House website here
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