Keats in Whitehaven

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Keats in Whitehaven

Postby alanc » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:03 pm

I've a vague memory that Keats once visited Whitehaven in Cumbria - but said something not very complimentary about it! Does anyone know if that was the case and what it was he said? - Cheers, Alan Cleaver (of Whitehaven!).
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Re: Keats in Whitehaven

Postby Cath » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:43 pm

The only connection of Keats to Whitehaven that I can remember is in 'Notes on the Antecedents of John Keats: The Maritime Hypothesis' by Dwight E. Robinson in Keats-Shelley Journal, Vol. 34, (1985), pp. 22-52. Robinson argues that William Whaley of Whitehaven - master of the ship Minerva, 1776, which traded coal with Holland - may have been Keats's maternal great-grandmother.

Also see: http://www.john-keats.com/phpboard/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2607&p=12612&hilit=whitehaven#p12612.
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: Keats in Whitehaven

Postby Cath » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:54 pm

I just noticed that Whitehaven gets a mention in Keats's letter to his brother Tom of 17-21 July 1818 while the poet was on his walking tour of Scotland, but it doesn't prove that he knew the place - only that he knew the pun. It's in the letter which begins

"My dear Tom,
Here's Brown going on so that I cannot bring to Mind how the last two days have vanished..."

and continues by repeating Brown's bawdy sexual punning on the Lady of the Lake and the Lord of the Isles who "remembered their last meeting at Cony stone water so touching her with one hand on the Vallis Lucis while he [for the] other un-Derwent her Whitehaven..."

See the OUP edition of The Selected Letters of John Keats, p. 121 and Appendix, note 4 on p. 372:

http://books.google.de/books?id=EHQQqQnUegEC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=%22un-.derwent+her+whitehaven%22&source=bl&ots=HX_SlAs3xI&sig=noGJFDkcUAlRGKyd5M87AK3kd2w&hl=de&sa=X&ei=xRJrT5-eC4XOsgakvZWXAg&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22un-.derwent%20her%20whitehaven%22&f=false
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