Cybele wrote:Not much about Keats in the Daisy Hay book, eh? Darn. I downloaded an excerpt and enjoyed it, put it on my wish list, etc. Would you recommend it, anyway, Mrs. RsCat?
I purchased The Young Romantics
a while back but have not read it in its entirety yet; it's queued, waiting its turn, although, I did read some parts of the text that dealt with Keats. One thing I did
like was Hay's discussion of Leigh Hunt. He sometimes seems to get short shrift in the Romantic Period scheme-of-things. Despite what many folks (much more learned in the ways of Keats and his poetry than me) seem to think of Hunt (sometimes I feel like they "blow him off" -- much the way Keats himself did when he realized Hunt was exercising a tad too much influence on his poetry), I like
Hunt: I respect the fact that even though Keats saw the need to distance himself from Hunt for a period of time, Hunt was always there for him (despite the demands of his large brood of ["energetic", or should I say unruly
] children and the health concerns of a consumptive wife, one of the first to recognize Keats's poetic genius, the first to publish his early poems, introducing him to PBShelley,et. al., opening up his (chaotic, and therefore, nerve-wracking home [I don't think Keats cared too much for children!]), finding lodgings for him in Kentish Town that last dreadful summer in London (
), moving him back into his home when all who loved Keats realized he couldn't/shouldn't be alone (it's irrelevant to me, as far as my opinion of Hunt is concerned, that Keats left Hunt's home this last time because of that "misunderstanding" stemming from the opened note from Fanny and the unexcusable delay in giving that note to Keats). I would like to believe that if Hunt, and William Haslam, as well, did not have familial responsibilites, they would (should) have been the men to accompany Keats to Rome. Hunt probably would have been glad to go -- I wonder if he wouldn't have appreciated the break from the turmoil at home. He might have been a more realistic and adept nurse (concerning Keats's prognosis and his own consumptive Marianne) than the ever-optimistic, looking at the world "through rose-coloured glasses" as seems to be characteristic of sweet Severn. If we could go back in time and actually meet these literate and exceptional men that made up the Keats Circle, Hunt would be one of my favourites. Anyway, after my rambling opinion of Hunt, I was glad to to see Hays give him his due in her book.