George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and Geor

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and Geor

Postby Cybele » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:08 am

I'm kind of excited about a new book about John & George Keats, to be released next month: http://www.amazon.com/Keats-Brothers-Life-John-George/dp/0674048563/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315191773&sr=8-1

What can I say but, "Yay!!!"
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby BrokenLyre » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:44 pm

Thanks for the heads up on this book. It sounds very interesting. I so look forward to it (now I have to find the time to read..... arrrggghh).
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Saturn » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:43 pm

This looks promising. Any further information on the author or anything like that?

Also, what about poor Tom...

Good notices there from Jack Stillinger and Stanley Plumly; definitely one to look out for. I really hope my local book shop actually stocks the damn thing :roll:
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Ennis » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:27 am

Cybele wrote:I'm kind of excited about a new book about John & George Keats, to be released next month: http://www.amazon.com/Keats-Brothers-Life-John-George/dp/0674048563/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315191773&sr=8-1

What can I say but, "Yay!!!"
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Ennis » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:43 am

Ennis wrote:
Cybele wrote:I'm kind of excited about a new book about John & George Keats, to be released next month: http://www.amazon.com/Keats-Brothers-Life-John-George/dp/0674048563/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315191773&sr=8-1

What can I say but, "Yay!!!"
Image


Oh, thank you so much, Cybele, for the information about the most current Keatsian publication!! It's been several weeks (months, maybe. Who really knows about time and its passage. . . .), and I was just thinking today about looking into some new purchase. Maybe tomorrow I'll reserve a copy!

I'm always on the lookout for any new Keats-related publication -- as I'm sure we all are! -- even though I may not be able to afford all that I want; "looking" never hurts, in fact, one can get some good ideas by doing so.

Again, Cybele, many thanks to your "literary vigilance!"
Last edited by Ennis on Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Cath » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:49 am

I came across two reviews of this book today, both generally favourable (one of which is determined to focus on the "achievement gap" between the brothers - poor George!):

http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/R ... /ba-p/5951

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/books ... wanted=all

If you've read The Keats Brothers already, let us know what you think! I'm still wading through...
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Saturn » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:50 pm

Bit unfair to compare George's achievements with John's, it's chalk and cheese; both brothers faced many setbacks and failures, and one could say that Keats was only successful after death, and never was given his due in his lifetime except by a small group of friends and admirers. George Keats made a good home and raised a family and lived to a reasonable age for the time, which is an achievement in itself, if not as immortal as the work Keats left behind.
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Raphael » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:32 am

Looks interesting- but should have included Tom too.
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby lexybam » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:08 pm

Thanks for the countdown info on the new book, I do hope it is going to be in formative as all are now on the information period.
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby MrsRsCat » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:04 am

I am hugely enjoying this book which was a Christmas present from one of my daughters. In fact so hugely enjoying it I read it in treat-sized chunks to spin it out. There's an awful lot of new (to me anyway) information and contemporary political background information to digest anyway, so I have to concentrate.

Gigante brings the brothers and their whole circle to life. Which is a strong contrast to that big fat book about Haydon by O'Keefe which I ploughed through dutifully. Dogged determination more like. Seldom have I read a biography that was so leaden, with so little feeling for the subject. A book about an artist, if you please, with a dearth of illustrations and those that were badly printed, many with no or inadequate captions. I felt like asking the publisher for my money back.
The Keats Brothers, on the other hand, is generously illustrated.

And I am the sort of sad person who revels in extraneous details like knowing the name of the gardener at Wentworth Place (old Philips) and the name of the Dilke dog (Boxer) so I'm a very happy bunny at the moment. Poor Haydon needs a Gigante.
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Ennis » Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:38 am

MrsRsCat wrote:I am hugely enjoying this book which was a Christmas present from one of my daughters. In fact so hugely enjoying it I read it in treat-sized chunks to spin it out. There's an awful lot of new (to me anyway) information and contemporary political background information to digest anyway, so I have to concentrate.

Gigante brings the brothers and their whole circle to life. Which is a strong contrast to that big fat book about Haydon by O'Keefe which I ploughed through dutifully. Dogged determination more like. Seldom have I read a biography that was so leaden, with so little feeling for the subject. A book about an artist, if you please, with a dearth of illustrations and those that were badly printed, many with no or inadequate captions. I felt like asking the publisher for my money back.
The Keats Brothers, on the other hand, is generously illustrated.

And I am the sort of sad person who revels in extraneous details like knowing the name of the gardener at Wentworth Place (old Philips) and the name of the Dilke dog (Boxer) so I'm a very happy bunny at the moment. Poor Haydon needs a Gigante.



Poor Hayden spoke well enough for (and about) himself, sometimes, if not frequently, embellishing what he did say (and wrote). Thanks to him for Keats's life-mask and the "Immortal Dinner," but other than that, he was, to me an egotistical mooch who really, at most times, probably thought more of himself than was warranted.
His journals were published at one time and comprise five volumes!! Believe it or not, one of these days I'd like to purchase them; even though I don't care much for him (that should be obvious!!), he was a friend of Keats, and therein lies his importance(=term to be used lightly).
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby MrsRsCat » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:06 am

Hi Ennis,
Haydon was potty though that is hardly a scientific word I know. Probably genetic given both his sons went the same way. But from the snippets of his journals I have read he had a caustic sense of humour and paints a vivid picture (rather better than his overblown canvases) of his life and times, when his persecution complex wasn't getting the better of him.
His account of the Hampstead breakfast party where everyone, including Keats, was left hungry even before it was found Bess Kent had tried to drown herself in the muddy pond is a hoot.
Pity someone doesn't bring out a condensed version of the journals, with the inevitable rants cut out.
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Cath » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:08 pm

MrsRsCat wrote:Probably genetic given both his sons went the same way."


I knew that Haydon had sons but not what happened to them. I'd heard that one (FW Haydon) wrote a memoir published along with his father's correspondence in 1876. Did they also die by their own hand?

Seldom have I read a biography that was so leaden, with so little feeling for the subject."


Oh no, I was looking forward to reading the O'Keeffe book! I'm still going to try it, Haydon is so fascinating. I can imagine his grandiosity and egocentricity made it exceptionally difficult for his friends to get along with him, though. Does O'Keeffe say anything interesting about Keats?
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Cath » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:13 pm

Another review of this book can be found here:

http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/Perry_nov_11.html
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Re: George Keats: "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and

Postby Cybele » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:39 pm

What a wonderful review. Thanks for posting it, Cath.

I've been meaning to post a review of sorts of “The Keats Brothers.” (by Denise Gigante)

I enthusiastically looked forward to the publication of this book. Many years back researching the life of the American Keats brother became a kind of hobby for me and I fantasized about writing a proper George Keats bio. Needless to say, Ms Gigante does a much better job than I could ever do. (The book is more about George than John, even though there is plenty contained in the pages about John, but, IMO, no new information.)

Gigante used many resources that were familiar to me, including George Flower's “Errors of Emigrants “ and Flower's and Birkbeck's “History of the English Settlement in Edwards County. . .” , as well as Naomi Kirk's unpublished thesis,”The Life of George Keats.”

Most Keats biographers pay only passing attention to the life of George Keats and do little to acknowledge George's personal and civic achievements. Usually viewed only through the understandably, but somewhat myopic, lens of how George and his departure for the New World affected his brother's work, Gigante's book details – really details – George & Georgiana's trip across the ocean and Allegheny mountains, their friendships with the Audubon & Bakewell families, George's unfortunate decision to invest in a riverboat with naturalist, John James Audubon, and the Keats family's life in the frontier town of Louisville, Kentucky.

What I loved about the book was this: Ms Gigante paid close attention to details and the book is full of wonderful minutia that allows the reader an inexpensive means of time travel. I could almost feel every bump of a carriage ride across the ancient Alleghenies and smell all the promise offered by that super-highway of the early 19th century, the Ohio River. There was lots of information about Georgiana (I came to the conclusion that I would have loved to have had her as a friend.) and early Louisville. The book is profusely illustrated, with photos of the Keats family's Louisville home, and photos (Yay for the photos!) of the aging matriarch, Georgiana.

What disappointed me? I'd hoped that Professor Gigante would clarify the confusing details surrounding the failed river boat venture. (I suspect that this remains impossible because this incident was confusing and complicated in 1819, and it was even more so after almost two centuries.)

I would have liked to seen more about the friendship between George and my favorite New England Transcendentalist, James Freeman Clarke. (But that's just me. I'm the only Clarke fan I know.) I would have liked, also, to see more about the family's ultimately strained friendship with feminist Margaret Fuller and her sister.`

I would have liked more information about George's civic activities. (He was a very busy guy!) The author listed many of them, but gave few details.

Just like MrsRCat, I rationed myself pages so that the book would last longer. I enjoyed the book immensely.
Last edited by Cybele on Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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