Severn biography

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

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Severn biography

Postby Saturn » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:08 pm

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesw ... ku=6659709

Has there ever been a Severn biography before?

Looks promising.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:04 pm

I did a search, and apparently there have been several Severn biographies, though certainly not many. It does look, however, like there's been some recent interest in his life and letters, so maybe he's suddenly becoming a hot biographical subject:

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1236376735/ref=sr_nr_i_0?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=joseph%20severn&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ajoseph%20severn%2Ci%3Astripbooks

Looks interesting!
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Re: Severn biography

Postby Malia » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:39 am

I actually own the Severn Biography "Against Oblivion"; it was written during WWII by Sheila Birkenhead who was married to a great grandson of Severn's. It was her first book and isn't great literature by any means, but several early chapters detail Severn's relationship with Keats and the trip to Rome. I think this is the book that contains the watercolor sketch of Keats on board the Maria Crowther--I haven't seen this picture in any other book. Of course, Birkenhead paints a fairly glowing picture of Severn (she doesn't make any mention of his having bastard children or being cuckolded into believing he had some. I expect the newer, more objective biography would go into that area of Severn's life a little more.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby Saturn » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:50 pm

I hope it would be more enlightened than to use such phrases as bastard or illegitimate when speaking of children. There are no illegitimate children, but that's another discussion entirely.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby Malia » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:53 pm

Just to clarify, I used the term "bastard" children as a reference to how children born out of wedlock were considered in the 19th century. I apologize if it seemed that I, myself, believe any children should be referred to in a demeaning manner--because I certainly do not! But you point out a good area for clarification, Saturn. In the future I will just say children born out of wedlock, because you are right--the terms "bastard" and "illegitimate" are extremely derogatory and should really be dropped from our English vocabulary.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:52 am

I have the book "Against Oblivion" and it's a fun read - then again, I just like to see different perspectives on Keats! About the "bastard" remark - I agree Malia - it should be dropped from our current English referring to children born out of wedlock. Interestingly, Jesus was considered a "bastard" by some Jews - Gospel of John chapter 8, verse 41. (When the Jews lost their argument with Jesus they resorted to character assassination and by verse 59 they picked up stones to kill Him). Just interesting how the idea of illegitimacy is viewed as a derogatory term.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby catlover » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:06 pm

Yes I have one.It's called Illustrious Friends and it's by Sheila Birkenhead.It's really good.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:36 pm

catlover wrote:Yes I have one.It's called Illustrious Friends and it's by Sheila Birkenhead.It's really good.


Very Interesting. Sheila Birkenhead wrote "Against Oblivion" in 1943 about Severn's life. Must be the same book with different title. Didn't know that.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby catlover » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:59 am

This one is written in 1965.Apparently she had new information when this came out.But I agree I wish she would have covered the other aspects of his life such as the child out of wedlock.
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Re: Severn biography

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:03 am

catlover wrote:This one is written in 1965.Apparently she had new information when this came out.But I agree I wish she would have covered the other aspects of his life such as the child out of wedlock.

If this is an updated version of Severn's life, I will probably look into getting it somewhere.... Oh well... thanks for the info.
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