John Keats Letters and Quotes

This is an absolutely hilarious excerpt from a letter sent by John Keats to his brother George. (mid december 1818)

"Shall I give you Miss Brawne?  She is about my height with a fine style of countenance of the lengthened sort - she wants sentiment in every feature - she manages to make her hair look well - her nostrils are fine though a little painful - her mouth is bad and good - her Profile is better than her full-face which indeed is not full but pale and thin without showing any bone - her shape is very graceful and so are her movements - Her arms are good her hands badish - her feet tolerable....  She is not seventeen - but she is ignorant - monstrous in her behavior flying out in all directions, calling people such names that I was forced lately to make use of the term Minx - this I think not from any innate vice but from a penchant she has for acting stylishly.  I am however tired of such style and shall decline any more of it."

Sent to Fanny Brawne February 1820

"For some reason or other your last night's note was not so treasurable as former ones. I would fain that you call me Love still. To see you happy and in high spirits is a great consolation to me - still let me believe that you are not half as happy as my restoration would make you"

- Shows how Keats could be very selfish and inwards-thinking. Jealous and demanding

"My sweet creature"
"I wander at the Beauty which has kept up the spell so fervently"

- It is strange that Keats should refer to his muse as a creature rather than a woman. Later on, he suggests that she has bewitched him, and can't understand why she's captivated him so much.
Fanny must have been somewhat confused by this, as Keats paints a picture of himself as being in love with Fanny, but for no particular reason except that she's bewitched him.

Sent to Fanny Brawne June 1820

"..as usual I have been occupied with nothing but you: I wish I could say in an agreeable manner. I am tormented day and night"
"You are to me an object intensely desirable- the air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy"

- It's clear that Keats is hopelessly in love with Fanny. But as the letter goes on, the tone changes, almost becoming patronising:

".. you have a thousand activities- you can be happy without me"
"You do not feel as I do- you do not know what it is to love"
"Ask yourself how many unhappy hours Keats has caused you in Lonliness"

- He just assumes Fanny doesn't care that much for him, or perhaps he's trying to provoke a response so that he can feel better? (assuming she will be kind in her reply)



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