179 years ago today died Keats's favourite Shakespearean actor, Mr. Edmund Kean (March 17, 1789 - May 15, 1833).
Coleridge wrote of Kean that to see him act was like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning
His body weakened by excessive drinking and a dependency on the use of stimulants, Kean collapsed while playing Othello at Covent Garden in March and died at Richmond, Surrey aged 44. He seems to be buried beneath the floor at the south west corner of St. Mary Magdalene's Church in Richmond where there is a memorial to him:
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)