does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby harvest » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:02 pm

how lovely that would be!

just curious. since jumping in to keats this past week or so, i haven't found many , perhaps i am looking i the wrong places.

are there specific specialty bookstores to look @ , are they online?

thanks ~
Now a soft kiss - Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. ~ j. keats
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:13 pm

Gosh no- I found a first edition online and it is worth thousands...
I posted it under If I won the lottery in the misc section.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Malia » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:05 pm

I think only museums and Universities (and very rich private collectors) have any first editions of Keats. I read once that, before he became popular, his books sold in the 1p bin at booksellers' shops. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and steal a few of those bargains!
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:16 pm

Malia wrote:I think only museums and Universities (and very rich private collectors) have any first editions of Keats. I read once that, before he became popular, his books sold in the 1p bin at booksellers' shops. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and steal a few of those bargains!


1P!!! How insulting to his genuis. :cry:
Oh to have this:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... GPONustaoP
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Saturn » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:27 pm

Meh too gaudy and excessive for my tastes.

Even if I had that amount of money I certainly wouldn't be able to justify to myself or anyone else spending such an obscene amount of money on a book, any book, even if it was signed by Shakespeare, or Milton spilt a cup of coffee on it, or Keats scribbled in the margin, no matter what I would be ashamed to have spent that amount of money on something like that when so much good could be done with the money for others.

But maybe I'm being too serious, I don't know, but that's how I feel.

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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:14 am

Saturn wrote:Meh too gaudy and excessive for my tastes.

Even if I had that amount of money I certainly wouldn't be able to justify to myself or anyone else spending such an obscene amount of money on a book, any book, even if it was signed by Shakespeare, or Milton spilt a cup of coffee on it, or Keats scribbled in the margin, no matter what I would be ashamed to have spent that amount of money on something like that when so much good could be done with the money for others.

But maybe I'm being too serious, I don't know, but that's how I feel.

Genius, is priceless, be it one pence or seven thousand dollars.


I agree with all you said there Saturn- I mean to have a copy but not at the price- of course if one had that kind of money to spare it would be better to give it to charity. But I still would love to have a first edition of his poems- old books have a certain charm...
Talking of prices- I got a book for 10 p today in a second hand book shop called The Georgians at Home-I shall be diving under the covers and reading it soon, time for shower and bed I reckon!

p.s I am just looking at the Severn drawing again- and it feels to me like it was drawn from life- John's expression and his pose seem so life like. I've got it zoomed on my images on my PC and he's looking at me :lol:
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who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby harvest » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:52 am

just b/c someone has $ and may buy something that is frivilous to another, doesn't mean that person isn't being charitable in other areas as well ;)

i for one, would be all over a first edition if i could find one.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby jimfaster » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:07 pm

I am also searching for the same. Please let me know if you find out.





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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Ennis » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:58 pm

I have some first editions of Keats's work, but whoa! wait a minute before you assume I have money (I'm just a schoolteacher, as was my dad -- no earned or inherited $$$ in my family, believe me!!): my first editions are not first run Taylor and Hessey or Ollier Brothers publications -- there's no way I could ever afford one of those -- unless I won the North Carolina lottery . . . which will never happen . . . .
Anyway, my first editions are, therefore, not true first editions, but are first editions from other publishing houses, and the oldest, I believe, is an Eve of Saint Agnes from the mid-1800s. It has a beautiful cover and the poem is illustrated. My son gave it to me for Christmas two years ago. He said he paid 15.00$ for it, and that he got it on-line. The most I have spent on any Keats's book (by him or about him) is about one hundred dollars -- actually it was 80-something, but by the time shipping and handling was figured in, it was pushing 100$
Most of my books have come from old books stores I've purchased from on-line. I'm lucky that my brother shares my interest/love for all things Keats and his partner shares my interest in old books: they both find me things on-line that they think I may be interested in. My brother is especially adept at bidding for Keatsiana on e-bay. I'm not, however!! I just lost a beautiful little Endymion, published in the late 1800s. I topped my bid at 50.00$, forgot to check back in right before bidding stopped, and lost it to someone who got it for 51.00$!!
Although my maiden name is "Ennis," there's no "luck of the Irish" there!!
Sorry for rambling; thought you'd be interested.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Cybele » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:20 am

Ennis, is your "Eve of St Agnes" the one with the wonderful etchings? The university library in the town where I live has copy. If anyone else has access to this edition, do yourself a favor and check it out! It's a true treat for the eyeballs.

I was hoping that the same illustrator illustrated other Keats poems, or anyone else's poems for that matter, but couldn't find any information on the artist. (However, it's true that I didn't try that hard.)
Last edited by Cybele on Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:38 am

I got an 1897 edition of the poems from a second hand book shop today. :D I had seen it last time I went in- well the spine at least- the cover is tan coloured and isn't particuarly pretty so I hadn't looked inside. The pages are a bit yellowed and frayed at the edges( they didn't seem to cut them neat like they do in books today). I'm glad I took it out and looked inside it today as it is a hidden gem! It is full of gorgeous illustrations (line drawings)- there are many for Endymion- lots of dancing naked fauns lol.
The publishers were George Bell and sons, York Street, Covent Garden, London. The drawings were by Robert Anning Bell, with an introduction by Walter Raleigh. There is a piece of tissue paper in front of the title page.I found a postcard in there sent to a family in 1962 by a woman who went to Keats House- the postcard is b/w and of the Severn minature.
There is a heart inscribed on the front of the book with the name Norah Lindsay. The man in the book shop thought it might have been a school prize for this Norah.
I only paid £3.50 for it!
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:45 pm

That is a great deal Raphael! I have not seen that one around. But I managed to get the following (which are in my library now). Thanks to eBay.

The Poetical Works of John Keats (in Two Parts)
- Wiley & Putnam, NY, 1846.
Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats
- Richard Monckton Milnes ed., George Putnam, NY, 1848.
The Eve of St. Agnes
- Copyright by Charles E. Wentworth, Cambridge University Press, 1885.

The condition is not too bad for the 1846 & 1848 books. They were a bit more than 3 1/2 pounds however.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:36 am

BrokenLyre wrote:That is a great deal Raphael! I have not seen that one around. But I managed to get the following (which are in my library now). Thanks to eBay.

The Poetical Works of John Keats (in Two Parts)
- Wiley & Putnam, NY, 1846.
Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats
- Richard Monckton Milnes ed., George Putnam, NY, 1848.
The Eve of St. Agnes
- Copyright by Charles E. Wentworth, Cambridge University Press, 1885.

The condition is not too bad for the 1846 & 1848 books. They were a bit more than 3 1/2 pounds however.



Wow, they are pretty old Broken Lyre! Any illustrations in them? I just love 1800's books.
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: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Ennis » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:31 am

Earlier when I posted, I forgot to mention I have a first edition American publication of Keats's letters to Fanny Brawne. It's hanging on my "shrine" wall in an archival quality shadowbox to protect it. Even though the pages are so very brittle (the paper snaps if one's not careful turning them), the cover is beautiful: cobalt blue cloth with gold lettering and a gold-embossed flower in the lower-right hand corner. Many years ago, I took it to a professional "old book" preserver who informed me it was about impossible to repair without ruining the pages. (That experience is a whole another story -- a bad one with a good ending. I'll share it one day.) The copyright date is in Roman numerals, and when I first acquired it, my dad figured the date to be 1878, if I remember correctly. I didn't take it off the wall and remove it from its "home" to double-check before this post; however, I do remember the publication information on the back of the title page said it was the first American printing. I believe this is the oldest first edition I have. I won't tell you guys exactly how I came to own it -- except to say many, many years ago, I came to the opinion (or rather, it came to me!) it didn't deserve to be available for circulation, so I "rescued" it . . . .
Enough said.
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Re: does anyone own any first edition keats books?

Postby Raphael » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:23 pm

I'm glad it found it's way to your home Ennis- you are taking care of it. I think there must be a way to strengthen the pages though- one of my house mates is a conservationist- I'll ask her.
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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