Keats on the Isle of Wight

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Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Maureen » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:46 pm

I do intend to collect photos of anything Keats-related on the Island so I thought this needed a separate thread.
Having said that, my first foray yesterday was less successful than I hoped: I boldly strolled down to the lodgings where John stayed in Shanklin only to find my camera battery was flat. Nothing daunted, I took a few snaps with my phone, but will return with new batteries for better pics soon, I promise!

Image
This is the front of what was Eglantine Cottage, where Keats stayed in 1819, with first James Rice and then Charles Brown - but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, any more than I need say he had thought Shanklin 'a most beautiful place' when he visited a couple of years earlier, but had found it too expensive.
The front has been rebuilt since John's time and has been used as a bank, a hotel and 'Keats Bistro'. It now, as you can see from the picture, houses two shops: one a 'New Age' style shop stockig Wiccan, astrological etc stuff - and some lovely leather or material bound notebooks which I may treat my daughter to as she loves notebooks; the other focussing on fossil hunting and fossil jewellery etc - the Island is also known for its fossils. The two upper floors are again let out to holiday makers. John's room was at the back of the house, in the bit still preserved from his day, but not open to the general public.

From what I can see, the back of the house looks on to its garden, then other houses - Keats must have been on the top floor to have been able, as he said he could, to see the sea. Even then I would guess it wouldn't be possible now because of more houses being built.

As you can also see, it makes use of its famous connection, advertising itself as 'Keats Cottage' and using the line drawing that Brown made of John in that very house.

Image
The central door is the access to the bed and breakfast bit, and above it (though my phone isn't good enough to capture it clearly) is a slate plaque stating that he stayed here whilst writing Otho the Great. The plaque was put up in 1956.

Image
This is the view as you approach the side of the house along the road leading into Shanklin, - the cars would not have got in the way of the view in John's day!! :)
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:29 pm

I do intend to collect photos of anything Keats-related on the Island so I thought this needed a separate thread.


Maureen- thanks so much for these great photos and I look forward to more!

Image

This is the front of what was Eglantine Cottage, where Keats stayed in 1819, with first James Rice and then Charles Brown - but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, any more than I need say he had thought Shanklin 'a most beautiful place' when he visited a couple of years earlier, but had found it too expensive.


Is it expensive still? Interesting it was called a cottage- it looks too big to be a cottage. I would love to see a drawing of what it looked like in 1819.

The front has been rebuilt since John's time and has been used as a bank, a hotel and 'Keats Bistro'.



I can see that-the front doesn't look Regency at all- the wondows are very Victorian ( well to my eyes). Do you know what it would have looked like?


It now, as you can see from the picture, houses two shops: one a 'New Age' style shop stockig Wiccan, astrological etc stuff - and some lovely leather or material bound notebooks which I may treat my daughter to as she loves notebooks; the other focussing on fossil hunting and fossil jewellery etc - the Island is also known for its fossils.


I LOVE Wiccan and fossil shops! :D Do you have a website or contact for the Wiccan shop by the way?

The two upper floors are again let out to holiday makers. John's room was at the back of the house, in the bit still preserved from his day, but not open to the general public.



Oh to see in that room...sigh...is it like a museum bit then now?


From what I can see, the back of the house looks on to its garden, then other houses - Keats must have been on the top floor to have been able, as he said he could, to see the sea. Even then I would guess it wouldn't be possible now because of more houses being built.


Yes, sadly he would hardly recognise the area now- being built up.


As you can also see, it makes use of its famous connection, advertising itself as 'Keats Cottage' and using the line drawing that Brown made of John in that very house.


Totally excellent! :D If I owned this building I would turn it into the Keats Coffee Rooms and have it restored to Regency style. :D


Image

The central door is the access to the bed and breakfast bit, and above it (though my phone isn't good enough to capture it clearly) is a slate plaque stating that he stayed here whilst writing Otho the Great. The plaque was put up in 1956.


This is great that he is honoured and remembered- do many Keatsian people come to see the building?

Image

This is the view as you approach the side of the house along the road leading into Shanklin, - the cars would not have got in the way of the view in John's day!! :)


Sigh...yes...oh to go back in time for just one day...
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: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Malia » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:12 pm

Awesome pictures and commentary, Maureen! I love it :) I hope you're able to replenish your batteries soon and send more pictures of where you live. I plan to take a few shots of my part of the world this weekend when I have a few minutes free on Sunday. Mind you, Spokane is nothing to Shanklin, I'm sure. But it is home :)
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Maureen » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:27 pm

Had a wander round Carisbrooke today and took a few photos - will upload either this evening or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here is a link to the Keats Cottage website - it doesn't give prices of accommodation and seems a bit out of date - it still has a photo of what is now the Wicca shop in its last incarnation as a restaurant. And the online shop doesn't seem to be in use.
http://www.keatscottage.co.uk/index.php

However, I will ask if the shop has its own website when I next visit, Raphael and will post the address if there is one.

The renovation to the front was done in 1873, so well-spotted that it looks Victorian. As far as I know there are no images of how it looked before, but I do like the idea of restoring it to a Regency look! As for Keats' own "coffin" as he called the room, I think the internal renovations which I know have been done will have knocked it into another room - but having looked it up it is apparently on the first floor and towards the northern (left as you look at the photo) side of the house, so it's probably possible to work out where it would have been - wouldn't it be brilliant to stay there??

I don't know how many people do go and look it up, but there is an open-top bus tour which passes it during the summer: and I have pointed out to them that their original commentary, which says that he wrote Endymion there, is wrong.... :roll:
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Cybele » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:19 am

Oh, thank you, Maureen!
Please post more photos!
(And those aren't bad pictures at all for a cell phone.)
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Had a wander round Carisbrooke today and took a few photos - will upload either this evening or tomorrow.


Great- I'd love to see them!


Meanwhile, here is a link to the Keats Cottage website - it doesn't give prices of accommodation and seems a bit out of date - it still has a photo of what is now the Wicca shop in its last incarnation as a restaurant. And the online shop doesn't seem to be in use.
http://www.keatscottage.co.uk/index.php


Yes- it does need updating!Thanks for posting it tho.


However, I will ask if the shop has its own website when I next visit, Raphael and will post the address if there is one.


Great - thanks! :D

The renovation to the front was done in 1873, so well-spotted that it looks Victorian.


I am used to Victorian as where I live is full of Victiorian houses and the bedsit I live in is in a Victorian house!


As far as I know there are no images of how it looked before, but I do like the idea of restoring it to a Regency look!


That would be great wouldn't it!


As for Keats' own "coffin" as he called the room, I think the internal renovations which I know have been done will have knocked it into another room -


How sad... :(


but having looked it up it is apparently on the first floor and towards the northern (left as you look at the photo) side of the house, so it's probably possible to work out where it would have been - wouldn't it be brilliant to stay there??


YES!

I don't know how many people do go and look it up, but there is an open-top bus tour which passes it during the summer: and I have pointed out to them that their original commentary, which says that he wrote Endymion there, is wrong.... :roll


Have they corrected this mistake yet?
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: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Maureen » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:47 pm

They have changed the commentary Raphael - which might have something to do with the fact that my husband is a manager in the company: he did tell them they should have asked me in the first place.... :)

I visited Carisbrooke and took some pics yesterday: Carisbrooke is still a small village just outside the main town of the Island, Newport. It's only about 3 miles from Newport Town Centre but so far has resisted becoming a suburb and retains its own character, so in that way it's not too dissimilar from in Keats' day.

As I'm sure you know, John stayed here on his first visit to the Island in 1817, after finding Newport too busy (the military had taken up residence) and Shanklin too expensive and remote from libraries etc. According to my information he stayed in Mrs Cook's lodging house on Newport Road. This is now referred to as the High Street, and is the main road out of Newport leading to the western side of the Island. Carisbrooke is built on this road and there are still small, winding lanes leading off it as John referred to. As for where exactly Mrs Cook's lodging house is, no one seems to know - but it is almost definitely on the stretch of road pictured below:
Image
This is the High Street seen from the Newport end. It climbs a hill - Newport is set in a dip in the land - but is overlooked by a much larger hill on top of which is the famous Carisbrooke Castle (on the left as you look at this picture) - I'll post some pictures of that later. Note the pub sign for the 'Eight Bells' - it is one of two pubs now, the other being at the top of the street, as opposed to the five inns that it had in John's day.

Image[
Not just an example of the type of house John would have seen - it was Carisbrooke Manor, a Georgian House - it's now the local Health Centre (and I've managed to capture what could be one of Mrs Cook's descendants walking past.... :wink: )

Image
An example of the winding roads - this one (when not covered by water) leads to the lane going up to the castle. It is usually a ford now though.

Image
Still at the Newport end of the High Street, the road going into town - note the stream beside the road. In John's day the road would probably have been more of a track, providing a pleasant walk into town.

Image
This is taken from the top of the High Street looking down towards Newport along the same street - note the church tower just visible on the left, and the wych gate leading to it; also the building in the right foreground was until recently a pub; now a restaurant. I hope this along with the first photo give an idea of the mix of houses Carisbrooke still has - some new, some that were clearly there in Junkets' day - and long before!

Image
The church of St Mary the Virgin - certainly there in John's day, but who knows if he went in there, let alone attended a service: not a great one for organised religion, our John.

Image
And finally - this is a view from Castle Road - one of the roads off the High Street - the ramparts that can be seen through the trees are those of the Castle, showing how it looks down over the village,; also this is most likely the first view of the Castle John would have had, perhaps from his bedroom window.
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Cybele » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:29 am

Thank you once again, Maureen.
These are quite wonderful!
Places I've only imagined are real, after all. :)
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:40 pm

They have changed the commentary Raphael - which might have something to do with the fact that my husband is a manager in the company: he did tell them they should have asked me in the first place.... :)



:lol:

I visited Carisbrooke and took some pics yesterday: Carisbrooke is still a small village just outside the main town of the Island, Newport. It's only about 3 miles from Newport Town Centre but so far has resisted becoming a suburb and retains its own character, so in that way it's not too dissimilar from in Keats' day.


What lovely photos- thanks so much- it's very pretty a place!

As I'm sure you know, John stayed here on his first visit to the Island in 1817, after finding Newport too busy (the military had taken up residence) and Shanklin too expensive and remote from libraries etc. According to my information he stayed in Mrs Cook's lodging house on Newport Road. This is now referred to as the High Street, and is the main road out of Newport leading to the western side of the Island. Carisbrooke is built on this road and there are still small, winding lanes leading off it as John referred to. As for where exactly Mrs Cook's lodging house is, no one seems to know - but it is almost definitely on the stretch of road pictured below:


Wow- one of them must be the lodging house where he got his Shakespeare pic from!

Sorry damn library logging me out- will finish this in a bit when get back on.
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.

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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Maureen » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:11 pm

Yes - I love the story of how he talked the landlady into letting him put that print into his room - then take it with him when he left! It shows the charisma he must have had: I can imagine him charming elderly ladies!
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:34 pm

Yes - I love the story of how he talked the landlady into letting him put that print into his room - then take it with him when he left!


So he asked her for it did he? I thought she gave it to him without him asking...I'll have to check his letter tonight.

It shows the charisma he must have had


Oh I bet he had it in spades! :D

I can imagine him charming elderly ladies!


According to John it was Charles Brown who charmed elderly ladies... :lol:

I think John might have charmed young ladies.... :wink:
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.

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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:39 pm

Note the pub sign for the 'Eight Bells' - it is one of two pubs now, the other being at the top of the street, as opposed to the five inns that it had in John's day.


Maybe he had had a pint in one of them! :D

Image[
Not just an example of the type of house John would have seen - it was Carisbrooke Manor, a Georgian House - it's now the local Health Centre (and I've managed to capture what could be one of Mrs Cook's descendants walking past.... :wink: )



A lovely house- reminds me a bit of Wentworth Place. Fancy it being a health centre now! Sadly most of the Regency interior will all be gone... :(



Image
An example of the winding roads - this one (when not covered by water) leads to the lane going up to the castle. It is usually a ford now though.


Sweet!


Image
Still at the Newport end of the High Street, the road going into town - note the stream beside the road. In John's day the road would probably have been more of a track, providing a pleasant walk into town.



I can just picture him on a pleasant walk... :D


Image
This is taken from the top of the High Street looking down towards Newport along the same street - note the church tower just visible on the left, and the wych gate leading to it; also the building in the right foreground was until recently a pub; now a restaurant. I hope this along with the first photo give an idea of the mix of houses Carisbrooke still has - some new, some that were clearly there in Junkets' day - and long before!


Yes- it does- thanks so much Maureen!

Image
The church of St Mary the Virgin - certainly there in John's day, but who knows if he went in there, let alone attended a service: not a great one for organised religion, our John.



No, he wasn't!
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: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Maureen » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:18 pm

Actually, having checked his letter, Junkets simply says: "In the passage I found a head of Shakspeare which I had not before seen. It is most likely the same that George spoke so well of; for I like it extremely. Well - his head I have hung over my Books, just above the three in a row, having first discarded a french Ambassador - now this alone is a good morning's work."

So he is not specific on how he got it into his room - I think given what I have read of his personality I can't imagine him just taking it without asking, so I imagine him not necessarily asking straight out - I think it would have been more him praising the print to Mrs Cook and dropping hints until either he felt able to ask or she got the hint and offered - who knows. And although John says it was Brown who charmed the old ladies, in my experience a charmer is a charmer: the gorgeous man who enjoys chatting up young ladies will usually make use of his charm on older women too.. :wink:
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Re: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby Raphael » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:13 pm

Actually, having checked his letter, Junkets simply says: "In the passage I found a head of Shakspeare which I had not before seen. It is most likely the same that George spoke so well of; for I like it extremely. Well - his head I have hung over my Books, just above the three in a row, having first discarded a french Ambassador - now this alone is a good morning's work."


Thanks Maureen- that was what came to mind. I don't know where I read that Mrs Cook "made" him take the picture away with him, that he didn't ask for it. It is in one of the biographies I presume.


So he is not specific on how he got it into his room - I think given what I have read of his personality I can't imagine him just taking it without asking, so I imagine him not necessarily asking straight out - I think it would have been more him praising the print to Mrs Cook and dropping hints until either he felt able to ask or she got the hint and offered - who knows.



Well imagine those luminous hazel eyes of his looking all hopeful- you couldn't say no really could you? :D


the gorgeous man who enjoys chatting up young ladies will usually make use of his charm on older women too.. :wink



Well gorgeous John can charm the pants off me anytime he likes... :wink:
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: Keats on the Isle of Wight

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Thank you for the great pictures!It means so much to me! You have made my week - I will copy and keep this for my growing Keats files.

Thank you Maureen!!!!!
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