Skip to main content Accessibility help
Reading John Keats
  • Cited by 15
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

John Keats (1795–1821), one of the best-loved poets of the Romantic period, is ever alive to words, discovering his purposes as he reads - not only books but also the world around him. Leading Keats scholar Susan J. Wolfson explores the breadth of his works, including his longest ever poem Endymion; subsequent romances, Isabella (a Boccaccio tale with a proto-Marxian edge admired by George Bernard Shaw), the passionate Eve of St Agnes and knotty Lamia; intricate sonnets and innovative odes; the unfinished Hyperion project (Keats's existential rethinking of epic agony); and late lyrics involved with Fanny Brawne, the bright (sometimes dark) star of his last years. Illustrated with manuscript pages, title-pages, and two portraits, Reading John Keats investigates the brilliant complexities of Keats's imagination and his genius in wordplay, uncovering surprises and new delights, and encouraging renewed respect for the power of Keats's thinking and the subtle turns of his writing.


'… the book presents a chronological journey through Keats’s biographia literaria, a boon for readers of Keats; but Wolfson’s attention to reading is also a movable feast, modeling a process that can be transferred to other writers …'

John Kandl Source: Modern Philology

'There is perhaps no scholar better suited to the task of reading Keats’s poetry and letters than Wolfson. … teachers of poetry competing with a multiplicity of media for the attention of a young generation of readers will no doubt welcome this loving and lively book.'

Emily Rohrbach Source: The BARS Review

“In Reading John Keats, Susan Wolfson offers a dazzling tour of Keats’s poetry across the brief, blazoned arc of his career … Over the course of ten svelte, fast-paced chapters, Wolfson assembles an anthology of stunning readings of poetry readers find they may not know quite as well as they presumed. Whether one is looking into Keats’s sonnet on Chapman’s Homer for the first time, one sees - and hears - it anew under Wolfson’s tutelage.'

Source: The Wordsworth Circle

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Further reading
Poems (London: C. & J. Ollier, 1817), Endymion (London: Taylor & Hessey, 1818), and Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (London: Taylor & Hessey, 1820) are available on google books.
The Poems of John Keats, ed. Stillinger, Jack. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978; concordance, ed. Noah Comet:
The Letters of John Keats, 1814–1821, ed. Rollins, Hyder E.. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958; Pollard, David, A KWIC Concordance to the Letters of John Keats. Hove: Geraldson Imprints, 1989.
The Letters of John Keats, ed. Gittings, Robert, rev. Mee, John. Oxford University Press, 2002.
John Keats: A Longman Cultural Edition, ed. Wolfson, Susan J.. London: Longman, 2006.
Hunt, Leigh. “Mr. Keats,” in Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries. 2 vols. London: Henry Colburn, 1828.
Milnes, Richard M.Life, Letters, and Literary Remains, of John Keats. London: Edward Moxon, 1848.
Colvin, Sidney. John Keats: His Life and Poetry, his Friends, Critics, and After-Fame. London: Macmillan, 1917.
Lowell, Amy. John Keats. 2 vols. Boston, MA, and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1925.
Bate, Walter Jackson. John Keats. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963.
Hirst, Wolf Z.John Keats. Boston, MA: Twayne, 1981.
Clark, Tom. Junkets on a Sad Planet. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1994. A biography in poems.
Motion, Andrew. Keats. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Plumly, Stanley. Posthumous Keats. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008.
Plumly, Stanley.. The Immortal Evening. New York: W. W. Norton, 2014.
Roe, Nicholas. John Keats: A New Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.
Ford, George H.Keats and the Victorians … 1821–1895. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1944.
Marquess, William H.Lives of the Poet: The First Century of Keats Biography. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985.
Matthews, G. M., ed. Keats: The Critical Heritage. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1971.
The Keats Circle: Letters and Papers, ed. Rollins, Hyder E.. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965.
The Romantics and Their Contemporaries, ed. Wolfson, Susan J. and Manning, Peter J., vol. 2a of Longman Anthology of British Literature, 5th edition. London: Longman, 2012.
Barnard, John. John Keats. Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Bennett, Andrew. Keats, Narrative and Audience: The Posthumous Life of Writing. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Blades, John. John Keats: The Poems. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Cox, Jeffrey. Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Dickstein, Morris. Keats and His Poetry. University of Chicago Press, 1971.
Ende, Stuart. Keats and the Sublime. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
Jones, John. John Keats's Dream of Truth. London: Chatto and Windus, 1969.
Lau, Beth. Keats's Paradise Lost. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998.
Levinson, Marjorie. Keats's Life of Allegory: The Origins of a Style. New York and Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
Najarian, James. Victorian Keats: Manliness, Sexuality, and Desire. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Ricks, Christopher. Keats and Embarrassment. Oxford University Press, 1976.
Roe, Nicholas. John Keats and the Culture of Dissent. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
Scott, Grant F.The Sculpted Word: Keats, Ekphrasis, and the Visual Arts. Hanover: University Press of New England, 1999.
Sperry, Stuart M.Keats the Poet. Princeton University Press, 1973.
Stillinger, Jack. “The Hoodwinking of Madeline” and Other Essays on Keats's Poems. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.
Stillinger, JackReadingThe Eve of St. Agnes. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Vendler, Helen. The Odes of John Keats. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
Waldoff, Leon. Keats and the Silent Work of Imagination. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.
Walker, Carol Kyros. Walking North With Keats. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.
Watkins, Daniel. Keats's Poetry and the Politics of the Imagination. Rutherford, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989.
Barnard, John. “Keats's Letters,” in CCK.
Bernstein, Gene. “Keats's ‘Lamia’: The Sense of a Non-Ending,” Papers on Language and Literature 15 (1979) 175–92 – the title playing off of Frank Kermode's The Sense of an Ending.
Bewell, Alan. “The Political Implication of Keats's Classicist Aesthetics,” SiR 25 (1986) 221–30.
Bloom, Harold. “Keats and the Embarrassments of Poetic Tradition,” in The Ringers in the Tower. University of Chicago Press, 1971.
Bostetter, Edward E. “Keats,” in The Romantic Ventriloquists. 1963; rev. edition Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1975.
Bromwich, David. “Keats,” in Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic. Oxford University Press, 1983.
Bromwich, DavidKeats's Radicalism,” SiR 25 (1986) 197–210.
Brooks, Cleanth. “Keats's Sylvan Historian: History without Footnotes” (1944), in The Well Wrought Urn. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1947.
Burke, Kenneth. “Symbolic Action in a Poem by Keats,” Accent 4 (1943); rpt. A Grammar of Motives. Cleveland: World, 1962, 447–63.
Curran, Stuart. Poetic Form and British Romanticism. Oxford University Press, 1986.
Dickstein, Morris. “Keats and Politics,” SiR 25 (1986) 175–81.
Fry, Paul. “History, Existence, and ‘To Autumn,’” SiR 25 (1986) 211–19.
Hartman, Geoffrey. “Poem and Ideology: Keats's ‘To Autumn’” (1973) and “Spectral Symbolism and Authorial Self in Keats's Hyperion” (1974), in The Fate of Reading. University of Chicago Press, 1975.
Hartman, Geoffrey “Reading Aright: Keats's Ode to Psyche,” in Centre and Labyrinth, ed. Cook, Eleanor &c. University of Toronto Press, 1983, 210–26.
Homans, Margaret. “Keats Reading Women, Women Reading Keats,” SiR 29 (1990) 341–70.
Kandl, John. “Leigh Hunt's Examiner and the Construction of a Public ‘John Keats,’” KSJ 44 (1995) 84–101.
Kandl, John “The Politics of Keats's Early Poetry,” in CCK.
Keach, William. “Byron Reads Keats,” in CCK.
Keach, William “The Politics of Rhyme,” in Arbitrary Power. Princeton University Press, 2004 (based on “Cockney Couplets,” SiR 25 [1986]182–96).
Kelley, Theresa M. “Keats and ‘Ekphrasis’,” in CCK.
Kern, Robert. “Keats and the Problem of Romance,” Philological Quarterly 58 (1979) 171–91.
Kucich, Greg. Keats, Shelley, and Romantic Spenserianism. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991.
Kucich, Greg “Keats and English Poetry,” in CCK.
Levinson, Marjorie. “The Dependent Fragment: ‘Hyperion’ and ‘The Fall of Hyperion,’” in The Romantic Fragment Poem. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
Luke, David. “Keats's Letters: Fragments of an Aesthetic of Fragments,” Genre 2 (1978) 209–26.
Manning, Peter J. “Reading and Ravishing: The ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn,’” in Approaches to Teaching Keats's Poetry, ed. Evert, Walter H. and Rhodes, Jack W.. New York: Modern Language Association, 1991, 131–36.
McGann, Jerome J. “Keats and the Historical Method in Literary Criticism” (1979), in The Beauty of Inflections, 1985; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.
Mellor, Anne. “Keats and the Complexities of Gender,” in CCK. See also Romanticism and Gender. New York and London: Routledge, 1993.
Newey, Vincent. “Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, and Keats's Epic Ambitions,” in CCK.
Perkins, David. “Keats: The Uncertainties of Vision,” in The Quest for Permanence: The Symbolism of Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959. 217–57.
Rajan, Tilottama. Dark Interpreter: The Discourse of Romanticism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980.
Richardson, Alan. “Keats and Romantic Science,” in CCK.
Ricks, Christopher. “Keats's Sources, Keats's Allusions,” in CCK.
Rovee, Christopher. “Trashing Keats,” ELH 75 (2008) 993–1022.
Rzepka, Charles J. “Keats: Watcher and Witness,” in The Self as Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.
Sheats, Paul. “Stylistic Discipline in The Fall of Hyperion,” KSJ 17 (1968) 75–88.
Sheats, Paul “Keats and the Ode,” in CCK.
Stewart, Garrett. “Lamia and the Language of Metamorphosis,” SiR 15 (1976) 3–40. “Keats and Language,” in CCK.
Stillinger, Jack. “The ‘Story’ of Keats,” in CCK.
Swann, Karen. “Endymion's Beautiful Dreamers,” in CCK.
Swann, Karen “Harassing the Muse,” in Romanticism and Feminism, ed. Mellor, Anne. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988; on La belle dame.
Swann, KarenThe Strange Time of Reading,” European Romantic Review 9 (1998) 275–82.
Vendler, Helen. “John Keats: Perfecting the Sonnet,” in Coming of Age as a Poet. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Vogler, Thomas. Preludes to Vision: The Epic Venture. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971.
Wu, Duncan. “Keats and the ‘Cockney School,’” in CCK.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.