Ennis wrote:BrokenLyre wrote:Yes Cath, all good points you make. John Keats' money in chancery was actually held up for 60 years before it was finally dealt with. That is indeed tragic as it would have relieved John of "borrowing" from his publisher and the expenses in Rome as you point out. But I cannot help but think that after some years had passed, George would have been glad to hep with some of John's expenses. At least I would like to believe that George would have returned to England to visit John and would have been happy to help him. Would John have received it? Not sure on that one. At any rate, for a number of reasons, money was not readily available for John and I find it ironic that money eventually came to his brother George, but only after John had died.
On another note, according to Lawrence Crutcher (in his book on the George Keats family), Jeffrey, despite his sloppiness sometimes, did preserve some nice letters that would never have seen the light of day. I am sure Jeffrey did not know how famous John Keats would become, and with that in mind, I am surprised he kept any correspondence between the Keats brothers.
I read in Gareth Scott's edition of Keats's letters (a recent purchase of mine!) that before he delared bankruptcy, George was somewhat wealthy and paid off the remainder of John's debts. That was very noble of him, since (in my opinion, not to mention that of Chas. Dilke, or was it Brown??), he ripped his brother off during his London visit of January 1820, when one would have had to be blind, not to mention stupid, to see that John was dying, or at least extremely ill. George must have felt a big man sailing back to America with not only his share of Tom's estate, but most of John's share, as well. Even Fanny was pissed off and for good reason! I suppose William Haslam was most likely a little (if not a lot) annoyed at George's "conniving."
George did pay off John's debts -- at least to Brown, if not the money borrowed from Taylor & Hessey and others.
I cut George some slack over the misunderstanding over the money George took back with him to Kentucky.
1. Mitigating circumstances: George was desperate, or else he would not have crossed the Atlantic at the time of year. (January -- in a wooden boat? At best this would have been a cold and uncomfortable trip. IMO, anybody making that trip at that time of year was risking his life.)
2. I read (and darnit -- can't remember where!) that the Keats brothers held their money in common as a family unit. George may well have felt his needs at that time were the greater and more urgent.
3. While John was probably feeling ill during George's visit, he seems not to have voiced any concern to George over his health. He probably had a good idea about what was wrong (Hadn't he seen all stages of consumption up close and in person countless times?) but he had not yet suffered that hemorrhage that confirmed his worst fears. If George *had noticed* that John was not feeling well (He did note that John was a "changed man."), he may have, in his typically optimistic way, attributed this to one of John's moods or to his merely having a stubborn cold, or something. Sometimes people only see what they want to see.
4. John seems not to have mentioned anything about Fanny & his hopes to marry to George.
No, as John said, George ought not to have taken the money with him, but I believe George was ignorant of John's actual circumstances. He may have seen John's arrangement in living quarters as proof that John was doing OK.
One thing that has persistently puzzled me: I do not think he visited Fanny Keats while he was in London. The poor girl was practically a prisoner. George got on better with R. Abbey than either of the other Keats brothers. Why wouldn't he have asked Abbey for a loan? Why wouldn't he have visited his little sister? What was going on there? (Am I missing something?)