Editions of Keats' letters

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

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Editions of Keats' letters

Postby Wickers_Poet » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:38 am

Can anyone tell me what is the latest edition of Keats' letters as that would contain all the letters discovered after the previous editions.

Also there are 2 distinct editions. One edited by Maurice Buxton Forman (published by Oxford University press) and another edition. What is the difference?[/i]
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Postby Becky » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:47 pm

Are there?

Mine's by Buxton Forman. He's very hot on biographical detail and knew Fanny's later family I think, but is less sure on Keats the poet.

Dont know about any of the others, though.
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Postby Wickers_Poet » Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:32 pm

My university library have 2 very distinct editions, both claiming to be equally authentic. I don't know which one to buy, read or borrow. I'll get the details of the editions and post to the forum maybe that'd help.
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:02 pm

What's with you and boldface type, regular font not good enough for you?
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:19 pm

I suppose it's the written equivalent of shouting - maybe he/she is a very loud person. Here's waht Keats said about poetry - just one of my favourite quotes from his letters:

“We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us—and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great & unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle or amaze it with itself but with its subject.—How beautiful are the retired flowers! how would they lose their beauty were they to throng into the highway crying out, ‘admire me I am a violet! dote upon me I am a primrose!”

As to the editions of his letters - the Buxton-Forman one is outdated now compared to the more recent Gittings.
I myself still have no full edition of the letters, but I remember seeing a second edition of Buxton-Forman in a second hand book shop for ages and have been cursing myself for not buying it when I had the chance as now it's gone :roll:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Wickers_Poet » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:32 am

There you go, I'm not a very loud person and not overly long either as the Eliotian line goes.

I too remember seeing a second edition of Buxton-Forman in a second hand-book shop for ages and have been cursing myself for not buying it when I had the chance but I haven't checked to see if it's still there. Perchance it be the same bookshop.

Gittings I think has only done a selection. I never go for selections as a rule: my library consists of hundreds of collected this and complete that but hardly any selected versions. Why have half when you can have it all, eh?

Pope's selected letters is 70 quid and that's well beyond my budget right now, unaffordable! :lol:
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:36 am

As far as I remember Gittings has also done a full blown edition of all the known letters as well - I have the selection he made which is great by the way, so don't knock it - thpugh I wish I did have them all as a completeist fanatic :x
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Despondence » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:45 pm

The Letters edition by Gittings that I have state that, while not "complete", the scraps that were omitted were of little value. Like, "Note to self: pick up bottle of claret for tomorrow at Haydon's..." or whatever (I made that one up, but you get the drift) :)
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:52 pm

Whoah bad spelling there by me - must be the drugs :?
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Postby Becky » Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:30 pm

Actually, they're rather amusing. Especially the one about the blackcurrant he spilt over Brown's book.
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Postby Wickers_Poet » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:56 pm

Ah Good! Thanks for the info, I shall read up on't and get a copy. Thanfully Keats' letters are available cheaper than most.
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Postby Millamant » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:04 pm

I believe the two complete editions, according to Gittings in his introduction to Selected Letters, are the one by Buxton Foreman, which Gittings says contains outdated biographical info, and a later one by Hyder Edward Rollins (maybe 1950s or 60s?). Gittings seems to consider this latter one the definitive edition, with meticulous updating of the notes.
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Postby Wickers_Poet » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:04 am

That's a huge help - THANKS :-)
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