how did keats make money?

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

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how did keats make money?

Postby fleshyniteshade » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:16 pm

It's something I often ponder about constantly.
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:58 pm

I don't think he ever actually made an income during his lifetime. (Not a significant one, at any rate.) Mostly, he lived off of a small inheritance from his grandparents' estate and, after Tom died, I think he got a tiny bit of his inheritance too--I know that Keats didn't get a lot of the money that was due him because 1) His aunt Margaret had a lawsuit in chancery court to try and take some of the estate left to the Keats children (apparently, Keats's grandfather Jennings made a terrible, muddled will) and 2) It seems that the Keats's children's legal guardian, Richard Abbey, was skimming some of their inheritance for his own private business ventures and didn't want them to know about it--so he made it very difficult for Keats, George and Tom to obtain the money that was rightfully theirs. On top of that, Keats hated money matters--looking into his finances always stressed him out, so that was another obstical in his getting his inheritance.

When Fanny Keats came of age, she made it a point to get all the money that was coming to her--which she did. She also got her share of Tom and John's inheritance when she turned 21.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:29 pm

I'll add a third one to that list:

3) Keats as very generous with his money. George in particular asked him for "financial help" constantly, and his older brother always obliged. Unfortunately, he gave so much to his friends and family (whether they really needed or deserved it is another matter) that was never returned that, especially toward the end of his life, he started to get into some tight financial situations.
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:02 pm

Oh, that's right! Keats was too generous with the little money he had. Totally forgot about that--I guess it was a family trait because his grandfather was also very loose with his money. Also, George and Tom weren't very conservative with their own funds--once they went to France and lost a lot of their money at the black and red tables. (I guess that's one of the reasons they kept hitting Keats up for funds ;))
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Postby Saturn » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:51 pm

We can say with certainty that Keats never made any money from his writing.

As already mentioned he admitted himself that he was woefully inadequate and if not incompetent with his finances, he tended to steer away from having to deal with that side of life.

Like Beethoven I think Keats believed that

“The endeavour and aim of every true artist should certainly be to win for himself a position in which he can devote himself entirely to the completion of great works and need not be debarred from this occupation by other avocations or by financial considerations.”

-Ates Orga, Beethoven, His Life and Times, P119.
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