Was Keats love of Chatterton damaging?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Was Keats love of Chatterton damaging?

Postby Saturn » Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:58 am

The 'fake' Medievalism of Thomas Chatterton was immensely popular and influential among the romantic poets; not only Keats but Shelley and Coleridge also. Having been unable to read his works, I am intrigued with the disproportionate effect this tragic young man's works had on some of our greatest poets. Was it merely the fact of his early death - the wonder of unfulfilled promise? (such as we perhaps today view the tragic loss of Keats so young). If anyone has read his work I would be interested to learn what it was that so endeared Keats to him. Was this fondness damging or productive? Was his interest merely an offshoot of his love for Chaucer's archaic English and Spenser's own (even by Elizabethan standards) antique phrases. What should we make of verses like Keats' experimental archaism 'Gif ye wol stonden hardie wight'?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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