Question about "I should have had her when I was in health"

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

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Re: Question about "I should have had her when I was in health"

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:32 pm

I know all that folks- but at the end of the day that was the Keats' family money NOT Abbey's. He perhaps could have gently suggested to John and Tom that they take little/part time jobs to support themselves so John could have some time to write poems- e.g what about Tom and John running a little apocethary shop? They could have shared the running and employed a part timer.Eventually John wouldn't have needed to spend much time in the shop when it got going and could have concentrated more on his writing. Abbey could have used his practicality to show John that he could have had an income whilst writing.But no, he just derided him, so John rebelled!
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.
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Re: Question about "I should have had her when I was in health"

Postby Saturn » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:05 pm

In fact he did suggest to Keats that he should join a firm of Hatters, in the mistaken belief perhaps that the Keats were related to the proprietors - see Gittings biography for that curious story.

That's besides the point though, it was a different time, someone of Keats background could not have just gone out and got some kind of part time job like you can today. Keats did at times write articles for the Champion etc and at various points thought of doing some journalism which would provide him with a little extra money.

You either had a profession, lived off inherited wealth or you starved. You were either in employment, or indigent. Keats was lucky in that his background mean that his parents despite their unfortunate early deaths had left some money in care for their children.
Abbey you have to judge from the prevailing attitudes and realities of the day. I have no love for the man at all, and it seems easy looking at it from a modern standpoint to say "oh that awful Abbey he didn't believe in, or accept Keats' ambition to be a poet'. At the time it was no so unthinkable as it is today as it was a time of the gradual emergence of mass literacy that we all take for granted today, It was a time of a hunger for fiction, for novels and poetry. Yet despite all that, and the very public and popular poetry of people like Scott, Southey Moore and Byron etc. it was still seen as something little more than a hobby for gentleman, an accomplishment not something you could have a career doing. One can understand his disgust that a man of such limited means could attempt to try and make a career in something so very often unprofitable, and frequently ruinous.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Question about "I should have had her when I was in health"

Postby Raphael » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:46 pm

In fact he did suggest to Keats that he should join a firm of Hatters, in the mistaken belief perhaps that the Keats were related to the proprietors - see Gittings biography for that curious story.


Yes, I know about the hatter suggestion- that made me laugh- John as a hatter!!!
:shock:

(I have 2 biographies but not the Gittings or Motion ones- Cootes is very thorough).



That's besides the point though, it was a different time, someone of Keats background could not have just gone out and got some kind of part time job like you can today. Keats did at times write articles for the Champion etc and at various points thought of doing some journalism which would provide him with a little extra money.



I know..sigh...that still holds today..I want to get a part time job for similar reasons and haven't found one as yet, so I'm still working unpaid. I think if John found a better magazine that would have been a good income for him.



You either had a profession, lived off inherited wealth or you starved. You were either in employment, or indigent. Keats was lucky in that his background mean that his parents despite their unfortunate early deaths had left some money in care for their children.



Yes they did and didn't see much of it either.


Abbey you have to judge from the prevailing attitudes and realities of the day. I have no love for the man at all, and it seems easy looking at it from a modern standpoint to say "oh that awful Abbey he didn't believe in, or accept Keats' ambition to be a poet'. At the time it was no so unthinkable as it is today as it was a time of the gradual emergence of mass literacy that we all take for granted today, It was a time of a hunger for fiction, for novels and poetry.



Literature and poetry I think was more valued then than today, even though one can have easy access to books due to mass printing many people don't read today- or if they do it's daft newspapers and magazines full of non- news. the tales of the plastic.



Yet despite all that, and the very public and popular poetry of people like Scott, Southey Moore and Byron etc. it was still seen as something little more than a hobby for gentleman, an accomplishment not something you could have a career doing. One can understand his disgust that a man of such limited means could attempt to try and make a career in something so very often unprofitable, and frequently ruinous.



I do understand why Abbey thought the way he did- but I still dislike him. It says in my Cootes book that at the time there were evangelical Christian groups trying to forbid people to read poems and literature for fear their minds would be free and that they would start to think.
As I read into more and more the background of John's life and the trouble and sufferings he faced I am filled with even more admiration for his work and gratituded for such Beauty he brought into the world.I think poetry just understimated in its importance ( and art in general).I live with the philosophy that the heart, soul and imagination need to be fed and nourished, given the freedom to grow.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever
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.
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Raphael
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