So, how much do you really know about Keats?

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Postby Saturn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:31 am

No, I agree with you. That's a really sweet thing to do; but then I'm an unashamed romantic myself :wink:

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Postby Malia » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:53 am

Credo Buffa wrote: Giving something so precious to a lost relative, especially a close one, as a symbol of love and committment seems to say "Not only do I love you enough to want to marry you, but I want to share something of my family with you because I think my mother/grandmother/great-grandmother/etc. would want you to have it."


I totally agree with you, Credo Buffa. Though, I'm going to play the practical one here as I always believed the main reason he gave her that particular ring was in part because he couldn't afford to buy her one straight out. ;)

Still, the thought that it was a symbol of sharing in his family is extremely strong and beautiful--especially considering how reserved Keats was about his family and his past. It says a lot about how much he really loved Fanny B. that he would open himself up to her regarding his parents and especially his mother.

Now for the next question. Here's another absolutely positively trivial question. You'll have to open up your copy of Keats's Letters for this one :)

During his Scottish journey with Charles Brown, Keats stated more than once how much he hated the Highland Fare of eggs and oatcake. In one of his letters, he stated wistfully that he wished a beautiful woman would come by on her horse and offer him what?

Please tell me to whom he wrote about this particular desire and what food (and how much of it) he hoped the beautiful woman would give him.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:40 am

Whoa, I don't even remember reading that. :shock:

What I do know, however, is that he really shouldn't have been complaining about eggs and oatcakes; he could have been subjected to haggis every day :P
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Postby Saturn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:32 am

After reading the letters from Keats' tour of "little Britain"I've got it :D

"a dozen or two capital roast beef sandwiches"
To James Wylie 6th August 1818.

I'm glad you asked this question as it's given me an excuse to read a bit of the letters again. I'dalmost forgotten how brilliant, intimate and of course funny they were - I must read them again soon :D

Two images, two of my favourite ones have just stuck into my mind after re-reading them:

"when I am asleep you might sew my nose to my great toe and trundle me round the town like a Hoop without waking me" :lol:
To Fanny Keats, 2-5th July 1818.

And this hilarious but wretched and pitiful picture

"On our return from Belfast we met a Sadan - the Duchess of Dunghill - It is no laughing matter tho - Imagine the worst dog kennel you ever saw placed upon two poles from a mouldy fencing - In such a wretched thing sat a squalid old Woman squat like an ape half starved from a scarcity of Buiscuit in its passage from Madagascar to the cape, with a pipe in her mouth and looking out with a round-eyed skinny lidded, inanity - with a sort of horizontal idiotic movemment of her head - squab and lean she sat and puff'd out the smoke while two ragged Girls carried her along - What a thing would be a history of her Life and sensations."
To Tom Keats, 3-9th July 1818.
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Postby Malia » Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:29 pm

Saturn wrote:After reading the letters from Keats' tour of "little Britain"I've got it :D

"a dozen or two capital roast beef sandwiches"
To James Wylie 6th August 1818.



That's the quote, Saturn! Though, when I looked it up in the letters last night (I remembered the quote--it is one of my favorite fun passages in Keats's letters--I couldn't remember who he wrote it to) I thought it said he wrote this in a letter to Mrs. Wyle. No matter, though. It was written to someone in the Wyle family, so I give you credit ;)

The other passages you quote are both excellent. The second--about the Dutchess of Dunghill--really shows what a sharp eye for drama Keats had. I always wonder, had he lived longer, what kind of plays he might have written. It's so sad he never got the chance to fully meet his potential :cry:

Do you have another trivia question ready for us, Saturn? :P
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Postby Malia » Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:50 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:What I do know, however, is that he really shouldn't have been complaining about eggs and oatcakes; he could have been subjected to haggis every day :P


Hehe! You know, I've actually had oatcake before and it is pretty good topped with some raspberry jam and tossed down with a cup of tea :) Maybe 19th century oatcake wasn't as good--or Keats didn't have raspberry jam along with it ;)

Haggis. Yes. I would think if Keats had even tried it he would have something to write (and complain) about. :lol: But I really can't say anything--I've never had haggis.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:17 pm

Saturn wrote:"when I am asleep you might sew my nose to my great toe and trundle me round the town like a Hoop without waking me" :lol:
To Fanny Keats, 2-5th July 1818.

ha ha ha!!! :lol: I particularly love Keats's letters to his sister. They definitely show what a great older brother he must have been, and what a ray of sunshine for poor Fanny K trapped with the Abbeys day in and day out!

Malia wrote:Hehe! You know, I've actually had oatcake before and it is pretty good topped with some raspberry jam and tossed down with a cup of tea Maybe 19th century oatcake wasn't as good--or Keats didn't have raspberry jam along with it

Haggis. Yes. I would think if Keats had even tried it he would have something to write (and complain) about. But I really can't say anything--I've never had haggis.

Oatcakes are great! I suppose, though, that if you were forced to eat them every day with few other options, they might get a bit bland after awhile. And if you're going to be doing all the long, hard walking that Keats was doing in Scotland, roast beef sandwiches would definitely be much preferred!

And haggis is. . . uh. . . interesting. That's all I'll really say about it :wink:
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Postby Saturn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:43 pm

Never actually tried Haggis before - I don't think I ever will :lol:

Okay here's my question - probably a very easy one [for a change]

The poem Lines On The Mermaid Tavern are justly celebrated, but which very famous authors are said to have met for a drink in the said Tavern?
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Postby Malia » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:12 am

You call that easy?? :roll: :lol:
I suppose I'm more a trivia buff about Keats the man than I am about Keats the Poet because this is a toughie, Saturn.

I'm going to give 'er a guess anyway and say that the famous men were Wordsworth and Coleridge. (I have NO clue, though! hehe)
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Postby Saturn » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:17 am

Try again :wink:

This isn't as hard as you would think, it's easier than some of the previous ones I think - you'll probably kick yourself.

One clue we are not talking about contemporaries :wink:
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Postby Malia » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:30 am

OK. Shakespeare and Milton?
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Postby Saturn » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:36 am

One out of two - think of a friend of old Shakey's :wink:
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Postby Malia » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:53 am

Christopher Marlowe? :lol:
I think I'm going to have to look this one up. . .
Oh wait. Could it be Spencer?

OK, I think I've used up all my turns with this one. :roll:
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Postby Saturn » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:05 am

Okay I'll tell you.

It was Ben Jonson :lol:
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Postby Malia » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:08 pm

I know it's probably not my turn--since I only got half the question right and had to make several tries at it before I got *that* far--but I have a Ben Johnson-related bit of Keats trivia. . .just to carry on the theme ;).

The question is:
What did Keats accidentally do to his friend Brown's Ben Johnson (the finest book he owned) and what creation came out of this accident?

Again, this is another bit of trivia that you can find in Keats's letters.
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