John Keats

English Romantic poet John Keats was born on 31 October 1795 in London. The oldest of four children, he lost both his parents at a young age. Early in 1817, Keats gave up medicine for poetry. In the same year, he published his first volume, Poems by John Keats. In 1819, Keats contracted tuberculosis and by the following February he felt that death was already upon him, referring to the present as his ‘posthumous existence’. In 1820, he published his last and best volume of poetry, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. Under his doctor’s orders to seek a warm climate for the winter, Keats went to Rome with his friend. He died there on 23 February 1821 at the age of twenty-five, and was buried there. Keats had perhaps the most remarkable career of any English poet. He published only fifty-four poems, in three slim volumes and a few magazines. Rarely has a poet so thoroughly captured life in all its natural glory, without affectation or exaggeration. And rarely, too, has a man lived such an admirable and passionate life.