Did Keats Die A Virgin?

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

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

Do you think Keats was a virgin when he died?

Yes
4
33%
No
8
67%
 
Total votes : 12

Re: Did Keats Die A Virgin?

Postby Ennis » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:15 am

Malia wrote:From what I understand, Keats was a man of his era in many ways. It was not uncommon or seen as being a problem for men to go out and pull a few apron strings with willing girls. Keats would probably not have had sex outside of marriage with a woman of his own class (middle class) partly, I think, because there were strict social rules about such behavior in which he engaged and because he knew it would *ruin* an "upstanding" middle-class girl's reputation if it had gotten out--and reputation meant so much to a middle class girl's prospects at that time. To have sex with the girls at the bonnet shop or other girls more from the working class would not have been seen as a problem in Keats's set. Some of the biographies suggest Keats might have seen prostitutes with Charles Brown, who most probably saw prostitutes, himself--but at least one biographer (Ward) seems to think that he didn't enjoy it much--perhaps paying for favors was not as palatable to him as consensual, free sex might have been.

Regarding proof that Keats had sex before marriage, of course no one could have taken his picture "doing the deed" but we do have a statement by Brown, which he inserted into one of Keats's letters, about Keats having made feet for little stockings. This could, of course, be seen as merely a joke or a very ironic statement if Brown knew that Keats was a virgin--but considering the off-hand and often bawdy way that Keats and his set talked about getting "illegitimate" children and visiting the "life school" (i.e. brothel), it makes more sense to me to think that they were having sex outside of marriage and found talking about it no big deal.


Malia,
Did I miss something in my readings? I thought the "making feet for little stockings" was written by Keats about Severn.?? I could be mistaken. . . Brown was not the only one within the Keats Circle who fathered a child out of wedlock; Severn did, as well. The 'incident" ocurred prior to Keats's journey to Rome, and he did know about it.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
User avatar
Ennis
Calidore
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Not where (or when) I want to be.

Re: Did Keats Die A Virgin?

Postby Raphael » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:46 pm

Malia,
Did I miss something in my readings? I thought the "making feet for little stockings" was written by Keats about Severn.?? I could be mistaken. . . Brown was not the only one within the Keats Circle who fathered a child out of wedlock; Severn did, as well. The 'incident" ocurred prior to Keats's journey to Rome, and he did know about it.


No it was Brown who wrote it in one of John's letters:

To C W Dilke, 31 July 1819.

"When I come to town I shall have a little talk with you about Brown and one Jenny Jacobs. Open daylight! He don't care. I am afraid there will be some more feet for little stockings- of Keats' making (I mean the feet). Brown here tried at a piece of Wit but it failed him, as you see though long a-brewing. This is a 2d lie. Men should never despair. You see he has tried again and suceeded to a miracle. He wants to try again, but as I have a right to an inside place in my own Letter, I take possession."

The notes in the letters- the italicised remarks were written By Brown. Little stockings was slang for illegitimate children.

Brown was teasing John about his little feet.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
User avatar
Raphael
Milton
 
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:10 pm
Location: wandering Keats' poetry

Re: Did Keats Die A Virgin?

Postby jimfaster » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:57 pm

No idea regarding virginity. But will get back to you very soon.




____________________
self storage company | mini storage units
Last edited by jimfaster on Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Take care of yourself
jimfaster
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Did Keats Die A Virgin?

Postby Ennis » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:07 pm

jimfaster wrote:No idea regarding virginity. But will get back to you very soon.


Why in the hell should we care? He was a handsome and personable young man, so he most likely visited the same "Life Academies" as Severn. But again, why should we care? What difference would it make if he was or wasn't?
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
User avatar
Ennis
Calidore
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Not where (or when) I want to be.

Re: Did Keats Die A Virgin?

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:07 pm

I somehow don't think so- he didn't have much money and he was described as not having that kind of character by his fellow medical students- and you know what many students were like...

But regarding Joseph Severn- he did do the right thing by the prostitute and make financial provisions for her and the child- most men didn't do that. She was probably without a family or very poor and it was the only living available to her at the time. Tragic.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
User avatar
Raphael
Milton
 
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:10 pm
Location: wandering Keats' poetry

Previous

Return to Life and Letters

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests