Recommended books

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Recommended books

Postby Claire » Sat Apr 12, 2003 10:42 am

I was wondering what books on keats work are the best for analysis on his work. (Also fairly cheap books for people on a tight budget!!!) :?:
Thank You!
La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
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Postby Despondence » Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:44 pm

I have no idea (sorry...) and would like to know too. If you want to pursue your own analysis, however, I think you should plunge into the letters and get acquainted with Keats the person, that you may develop your own unfetter'd scope by which to measure other critics' analyses. I have Gittings' edition of the Letters, which I warmly recommend (not knowing whether there's a better edition).

As for a slim purse, check the vendors for used books ( have a lot) - I got a few real gems this way (thanks Zoe, whoever you are!). I also think that related texts dating back to the 19th century are especially valuable, like for instance the biography written by Richard Monckton Milnes (1840-something? I don't have the book here to check), and the biography on *this* website by Colvin (1887).

Sorry, no expert insight there, but hope it helps anyway!

Postby Endymion » Sun Apr 13, 2003 11:14 pm

I've just ordered letters edited by Gittings too, hoping for some more insight and just to hear some more of Keats' words. What's it like, Despondence? You've complimented the book, is the selection really good? I'm glad this edition is available - I looked at another complete letters edition but it was very expensive - and 2 volumes.

I'll have a good look at Keats' House fror you Claire - there's bound to be some stuff there conveniently placed that I'll just *have* to buy.
"He Stood in His Shoes and he Wondered
He Wondered
He Stood in his Shoes and He Wondered."
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Letters in selection by R. Gittings

Postby Despondence » Mon Apr 14, 2003 9:43 am

On Gittings: having read no other volume of the letters, I really can not say how it compares. My general impression, however, is that it's a good place to start and a resonably easy read - and certainly very elucidating and entertaining. Gittings' notes to the texts I found most rewarding and helpful in explaining contemporary and often very obscure allusion.

I did get the feeling sometimes that there were gaps or "missing" letters, but then one must recall that they are not chapters of a novel. He does state in the preface that there are 70-some "very short and formal notes by Keats which add little to our appreciation of him," and consequently excludes these from the selection. Considering the varying quality of what is still left in the selection, I take Gittings' word for the irrelevance of the rest. If you're doing your own research, of course, you shouldn't settle for this, but for the casual admirer I think it's good enough.

Postby Uriah » Mon Apr 21, 2003 7:51 am

a good critical bio is Stephen Coote's. It's relatively short (300 pp) compared to some of the others, and an easy read without being dumbed-down. He explains the key philosophical themes in Keats' work (disinterestedness, negative-capability, the vale of soul-making etc...) clearly and concisely. There's some in-depth analysis of the poems themselves but not too much, at least not yet. I'm a little over two-thirds of the way through, there will probably be more focus on the odes and the other later work.

W. J. Bates' bio is longer and a little more academic (but also more in-depth). I think it's about twice as long as Coote, I enjoyed what I was able to read (about 100pp before someone placed a hold and I had to take it back).

I'm not sure about the price on these, I got them from a university library.

For a good recommended reading list check the back of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. You should be able to find one in most chain bookstores (I got one used from for two dollars). This will list bios and various works of pure criticism.

good luck and happy reading :D
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Recommtnded Books

Postby violetta minina » Mon May 05, 2003 9:56 pm

I can give you a big list of books, I took in Internet. The most part of them I've read. The best are the works of R. Gittings, Aileen Ward and H.E. Rollings (for my taste):

Allott, Miriam, ed. Keats: The Complete Poems. Annotated English Poets. Corrected edition. London: Longman, 1972. Bate, W. Jackson. John Keats. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963.

Allott, Miriam, ed. Keats: The Complete Poems. Annotated English Poets. Corrected edition. London: Longman, 1972.

Gittings, Robert. John Keats. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1968.

Gittings, Robert. , ed. Letters of John Keats. London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Hamilton, James W. "Object Loss, Dreaming, and Creativity: The Poetry of John Keats." The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 24 (1969): 488-531.

Jack, Ian. Keats and the Mirror of Art. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967.
Keats, John. Complete Poems, edited by Jack Stillinger. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Keats, John. The Letters of John Keats, 1814-1821, edited by Hyder Edward Rollins. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958.

Levinson, Marjorie. Keats's Life of Allegory: The Origins of A Style. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.

Reid, Stephen A. "Keats's Depressive Poetry." Psychoanalytic Review 58 (1971): 395-418.

Ricks, Christopher. Keats and Embarrassment. 1974, Reprint. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.

Rollins, Hyder Edward, ed. The Keats Circle: Letters and Papers and More Letters and Poems of the Keats Circle. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1965.

Vendler, Helen. The Odes of John Keats. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.

Williams, A. Hyatt. "Keats' `La Belle Dame Sans Merci': The Bad-Breast Mother." American Imago 23 (1966): 63-81.

Have a goog reading! And my best regards!
violetta minina
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