the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby bjozlin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:02 pm

Hello all,
My name is Brian and i have a question about a Keats book that my aunt wanted me to do some research on. The book is named "the poetical works of John Keats" it also has a memoir by James Russell Lowell entitled "the life of Keats". The title page has "Boston and New york, Houghton, Mifflin, and company, The riverside press" with the riverside press logo. The Book is about 7x5, it is all red with gold lettering. The top of the pages are gilded. The binding has "keat poems" at the top, in the middle it says "cabinet edition" and on the bottom it says "Houghton Mifflin co". The front of the book has a small inch by half inch logo, and it has two gold lines outlining the book edges. I have looked around the internet for weeks and I cannot find any other book that looks like mine, or has the same publisher and memoir in it. Does anyone know anything about this book?
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby Saturn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:12 pm

There are literally dozens of late 19th, early 20th century editions of Keats' poems by various publishers and numerous memoirs attached to them, I have seen more editions of Keats poems trawling through second-hand book shops than almost any other poet besides Shakespeare. I doubt your edition is particularly rare or valuable, but a nice addition to your library if as you say the binding is monographed and gilded. Lowell was a notable poet himself so I'm sure the "memoir" is an interesting one.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby bjozlin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:22 pm

Ive seen many too, but I cant find anything that even resembles mine. But what does cabinet edition mean? The reason my aunt wanted me to research this book is because she said she thought she read of a Keats book with gilded pages that was rare. I'm skeptical of course, but I would still love if somebody has actually seen a book like mine.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby Saturn » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:29 pm

Well it's out there now, maybe someone else has more information on this edition.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:49 am

Can't help you there. I have not seen this book on the web either (apart from your photos). I do know that there were many publications of Keats' works in the late 1800's - I have some in my personal library that I can't find on the web. It sounds like you have a book from a limited number edition - "Cabinet Edition" - from the publisher. From my own purchasing experience, I believe your book would probably fetch between $80-130. Sorry I can't be of more service.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby Cath » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:27 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:I have some in my personal library that I can't find on the web.


Hi BrokenLyre,

I'd be interested to know what's out there on Keats that hasn't made it online. Are these "just" additional, older publications of Keats's works (there were quite a few pirated editions in the 19th century as JK gradually became more popular, I seem to remember) or also other Keats-related books?
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:48 am

Hey Cath,

Here are some books that I happen to own but have a hard time finding on the web:

Autobiography of John Keats: Compiled from His Letters and Essays
- Earle Vonard Weller, Stanford University Press, 1933.
Forever Young – A Life of John Keats
- Blanche Colton Williams, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1943.
The Poetical Works of John Keats
- The World’s Classics, Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1928.
The Eve of St. Agnes
- Copyright by Charles E. Wentworth, Cambridge University Press, 1885.

I have others like this - the point is that there are many editions of Keats's poems and works. Some are just hard to find.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby Cath » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:41 pm

Interesting - thanks for that! I agree that the book by Dr. Blanche Colton Williams is hard to find. I still intend to read it at some point. I've heard she pays virtually no attention to the poems, though, and supplements the letters with her own imaginative detail that "speaks for Keats". It was criticised for this when it came out at least.
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Re: the poetical works of John Keats with a memoir by lowell

Postby Ennis » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:46 am

Cath wrote:Interesting - thanks for that! I agree that the book by Dr. Blanche Colton Williams is hard to find. I still intend to read it at some point. I've heard she pays virtually no attention to the poems, though, and supplements the letters with her own imaginative detail that "speaks for Keats". It was criticised for this when it came out at least.


I recently purchased Williams's biography and just fininshed reading it. It reads more like a novel than a "true" biography -- a biography for the average person who may be interested in the life of Keats but who may be intimidated by his poetry. It's a fairly decent starting point for a "virgin Keatsian."
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