John Keats and the Culture of Dissent
Clarendon Press, 1998 - 315 pages
Keats and the Culture of Dissent sets out to recover the lively and unsettling voices of Keats's poetry, and seeks to trace the complex ways in which his poems responded to and addressed their contemporary world. It offers new research about Keats's early life opening valuable new perspectiveson his poetry. Two chapters explore the dissenting culture of Enfield School, showing how the school exercised a strong influence on Keats's imaginative life and his political radicalism. Imagination and politics intertwine through succeeding chapters on Keats's friendship with Charles CowdenClarke; his medical career; the `Cockney' milieu in which Keats's poems were written; and on the immediate controversial impact of his three collections of poetry. The author deftly reconstructs contexts and contemporary resonances for Keats's poems, retrieving the vigorous challenges of Keats'sverbal art which outraged his early readers but which was lost to us as Keats entered the canon of English romantic poets.
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