Random Keats Questions

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

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Re: Random Keats Questions

Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:32 pm

Malia wrote:Severn said once that Keats helped Severn relieve Miss Cotterell of her fainting spells by speaking in 'basso relievo' which I take to mean, in a low tone.

I've never heard that story before! Ha ha. . . I can just imagine that :P

dks wrote:I do, too, Credo. We are on the verge of an environmental train wreck if some things don't change...cancer rates have abounded in the last 50 or 60 years--ever since Hiroshima, really.

I'm not exactly sure how much of a force cancer was in the 19th century...but we could probably bet that with all the coal burning and early industrial surroundings, they had their fair share of the disease, as well.

The only cancer-causing agent that I can think of that we have that would have been a big problem in Keats's day would be smoking. . . but even then, I'm sure they didn't have all the additives and such to deal with. . .

I mean, what are all the big things that we know of that cause cancer? Radiation (modern), synthetic food products (modern), UV rays (caused by modern pollution), chemical inhalants (modern). . . the list goes on. I mean, we've all heard of people who live perfectly healthy lives and end up getting cancer, so I'd have to believe that there were people in Keats's day who would have had it, but probably very few compared to today.

At the same time, though, they had to deal with a lot of other illnesses that we don't have to anymore. Perhaps a lot of the people who would have gotten cancer never had the chance because life expectancy was so short and there were so many other airborn illnesses that could get to people first :?
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Re: Random Keats Questions

Postby Malia » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:43 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:At the same time, though, they had to deal with a lot of other illnesses that we don't have to anymore. Perhaps a lot of the people who would have gotten cancer never had the chance because life expectancy was so short and there were so many other airborn illnesses that could get to people first :?



Exactly. So many didn't have *time* to develop cancer--if they were to have gotten it.

Also, Credo, you're a musician. What exactly does "basso relievo" mean (forgive me if I misspelled the term). I take it that it is some kind of musical term, but I haven't been able to find out what it means precicely.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:06 am

Uh. . . well, "basso" is bass, obviously. . . but I looked it up and it actually appears to be a term from visual art. That silly Severn, mixing up his music and art terms. . . :roll: :P
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Postby Malia » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:57 am

Credo Buffa wrote:Uh. . . well, "basso" is bass, obviously. . . but I looked it up and it actually appears to be a term from visual art. That silly Severn, mixing up his music and art terms. . . :roll: :P


Hmm. . .maybe he meant it as a pun? Keats, speaking in his bass voice, "relieved" the patient of her illness?
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Postby Fortuna » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:00 am

"Basso relievo" sounds like Italian for "bas relief", which is low-relief sculpture... :lol: perhaps whenever she fainted, he would break out his chisels and carve into the walls until she regained consciousness.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:28 am

Malia wrote:Hmm. . .maybe he meant it as a pun? Keats, speaking in his bass voice, "relieved" the patient of her illness?

That occurred to me as well.
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Postby Fortuna » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:54 am

Hmm I knew I saw it somewhere. Here, on this website, in Keats biography, he's described to have a naturally low voice.

His voice was rich and low, and when he joined in discussion, it was usually with an eager but gentle animation, while his occasional bursts of fiery indignation at wrong or meanness bore no undue air of assumption, and failed not to command respect.


I tend to associate small men with high-pitched voices, but I can certainly imagine Keats and his intensity with a deeper baritone.
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:59 am

Fortuna wrote:Hmm I knew I saw it somewhere. Here, on this website, in Keats biography, he's described to have a naturally low voice.

His voice was rich and low, and when he joined in discussion, it was usually with an eager but gentle animation, while his occasional bursts of fiery indignation at wrong or meanness bore no undue air of assumption, and failed not to command respect.


I tend to associate small men with high-pitched voices, but I can certainly imagine Keats and his intensity with a deeper baritone.


Fortuna, is that an account from Charles Armitage Brown?
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Postby Fortuna » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:12 am

dks wrote:Fortuna, is that an account from Charles Armitage Brown?


I am not sure actually... the biography is by Sir Sidney Colvin but the passage on his voice was not actually cited, just stated. Seems that the rest of the descriptions stem mostly from Haydon.
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:01 am

Fortuna wrote:
dks wrote:Fortuna, is that an account from Charles Armitage Brown?


I am not sure actually... the biography is by Sir Sidney Colvin but the passage on his voice was not actually cited, just stated. Seems that the rest of the descriptions stem mostly from Haydon.


Ah, Colvin. Ok. I wonder if that's from the whole series of writers' biographies he wrote...I've seen that--I've checked it out from the St. Thomas library.

Thank you for posting that! It is incredible to really sit and think about Keats's talking--live and in person... :shock:
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:55 am

ok--here's another question:

I know Keats's descendants can be traced to modern day Spain, because Fanny (Mary Frances) married a Spaniard, and they had children, did they not? But couldn't Keats have descendants here in America--Kentucky area, perhaps...didn't George and Georgiana have more than one child (I was thinking they did live to adulthood)? I need to check the biographies...

What do you think?
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Postby Malia » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:50 am

dks wrote:ok--here's another question:

I know Keats's descendants can be traced to modern day Spain, because Fanny (Mary Frances) married a Spaniard, and they had children, did they not? But couldn't Keats have descendants here in America--Kentucky area, perhaps...didn't George and Georgiana have more than one child (I was thinking they did live to adulthood)? I need to check the biographies...

What do you think?


Keats definitely has decendants here in America. George and Little George had 7 children, 6 of which survived to adulthood (I think that's right--this is from memory so I might be off by a kid or two ;) ) One of his daughtors, Rosalind, died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound when she was a teenager, I believe.

Anyway, I remember looking through Keats sites back when I was in college and on a message board--or it might have been a guest book--at one of the sites, someone wrote in who is a great, great, great niece of Keats's--she was directly decended from George Keats and lived in Kentucky, I believe. Anyway, she didn't think it was any big deal to be related to Keats and never cared about his poetry. I thought that was kind of sad because I would LOVE to claim a relation to a famous author. I mean, wow! Wouldn't that be so cool?

America (and Americans) played a big part in Keats's rise to fame. In fact, I've read that Keats became popular in America before he rose to fame in England due to George Keats's diligence at keeping his works and memory alive.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:35 am

Anyone have or know anyone with a subscription to a good genealogy website? With the popularity of genealogy in the US right now, I've got to believe that someone has George and Georgiana in their family tree somewhere. I mean, in genealogical terms, 19th century isn't really that far back; I've got info all the way back to 1716 on my dad's side!

That, and the fact that having anyone who's anyone in your family tree is something to boast about, whether or not you know much about them or care for what they did (can you believe some people, Malia?! :roll: ).
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Postby Saturn » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:23 am

Malia wrote:
America (and Americans) played a big part in Keats's rise to fame. In fact, I've read that Keats became popular in America before he rose to fame in England due to George Keats's diligence at keeping his works and memory alive.


And many of his most famous poems and letters reside in American museums, libraries etc.

George was vital in spreading Keats' work to the new world.

We owe a great debt to him for keeping the interest and memory of his work alive
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:45 pm

Malia wrote:
dks wrote:ok--here's another question:

I know Keats's descendants can be traced to modern day Spain, because Fanny (Mary Frances) married a Spaniard, and they had children, did they not? But couldn't Keats have descendants here in America--Kentucky area, perhaps...didn't George and Georgiana have more than one child (I was thinking they did live to adulthood)? I need to check the biographies...

What do you think?


Keats definitely has decendants here in America. George and Little George had 7 children, 6 of which survived to adulthood (I think that's right--this is from memory so I might be off by a kid or two ;) ) One of his daughtors, Rosalind, died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound when she was a teenager, I believe.

Anyway, I remember looking through Keats sites back when I was in college and on a message board--or it might have been a guest book--at one of the sites, someone wrote in who is a great, great, great niece of Keats's--she was directly decended from George Keats and lived in Kentucky, I believe. Anyway, she didn't think it was any big deal to be related to Keats and never cared about his poetry. I thought that was kind of sad because I would LOVE to claim a relation to a famous author. I mean, wow! Wouldn't that be so cool?

America (and Americans) played a big part in Keats's rise to fame. In fact, I've read that Keats became popular in America before he rose to fame in England due to George Keats's diligence at keeping his works and memory alive.


Yes...true, true...Keats is by far America's favorite Romantic poet. You know I asked this question because while I was in London in January we (my Lit. London group) went to Dickens' house and got to meet Lucinda Dickens (wonderfully nice lady)...his greatx4 granddaughter--the resemblance to Dickens himself was eerily uncanny and by the end of the evening just a few of us sat down in Dickens' wine cellar drinking and talking with the curators and Lucinda, his direct descendent!! It was unreal...but to find something like that out and not give a wink, nod or flip about the significance of BEING RELATED TO JOHN KEATS??? To use Despondence's borrowed quote--by my fay...I cannot reason. :?
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