January 2015

Newsletter: January 2015


We have 60+ Supporters on the Keats Foundation database who have not supplied electronic (e-mail) addresses for the Newsletters and other Keats Foundation circulars. If you currently receive the Newsletter by post, please would you ensure that an e-mail contact for you is forwarded to the Keats Foundation Administrator, Ms. Hrileena Ghosh at hg27@st-andrews.ac.uk. Thank you.

What’s been Happening

The Winter has seen the welcome appointment of two new Trustees, Vivienne Littlechild and John Scott from the CoL, with further new Trustees shortly to be announced.

Thanks to Trustee Judith Palmer, a wreath was laid at Westminster Abbey on 31st October, Keats’s 219th birthday, and on the same day the Keats Foundation co-hosted a seminar at the Keats-Shelley House, Rome (see below).

Plans for the bicentenary John Keats Conference at Guy’s Hospital, 1-3 May, are at an advanced stage with over 34 papers promised for the programme. Michael O’Neill’s lecture, ‘The Potency of Song’: Keats’s Presence in Poetry from Hardy to Heaney, will be presented at Keats House Hampstead on the evening of Thursday 28 May (see below).

Pending agreement with Keats House, the Keats Foundation will be pleased to announce financial support for the highly successful Keats House Poets programme in year 2015-16. This furthers our mission to encourage enjoyment and understanding of John Keats’s poems, letters, life and times and to inspire new generations of young poets to fulfil their creative ambitions. We are closely engaged with and support a broad spectrum of educational and creative initiatives at Keats House, Hampstead, including, talks, lectures, poetry readings, and Keats-related conferences.


The John Keats Annual Lecture and Drinks Reception

Thursday 28 May 2015 at Keats House

‘The Potency of Song’: Keats’s Presence in Poetry from Hardy to Heaney

Michael O' Neill

We’re particularly fortunate that Michael O’Neill, Professor of English Literature at the University of Durham, will be presenting the annual Keats Foundation lecture on Thursday 28 May. His subject will be ‘The Potency of Song’: Keats’s Presence in Poetry from Hardy to Heaney. Michael is a leading scholar and editor of Romantic poetry, and an acclaimed poet in his own right. He has published books, editions, chapters, and articles on many aspects of Romantic literature, especially the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley, on Victorian poetry, and on an array of British, Irish, and American twentieth- and twenty-first-century poets. His research has concentrated on questions of literary achievement and of poetic influence, dialogue, and legacy. Among his recent books are The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American and Irish Poetry since 1900, and Poetic Form: An Introduction. He is currently editing the Cambridge University Press volume, John Keats in Context. Arc Publications published Michael’s third collection of poems Gangs of Shadow last year.

John Keats: Poet-Physician, Physician-Poet, 1815-1821

A Bicentenary Conference at Guy’s Hospital, London,

Organized by The Keats Foundation

1-3 MAY 2015

The Keats Foundation announces its second bicentenary conference, to be held from the afternoon of Friday 1 until the evening of Sunday 3 May 2015 at Guy’s Hospital London. The conference marks the 200th anniversary of John Keats enrolling to study medicine at Guy’s Hospital in 1815.

Confirmed speakers include Druin Birch, Jeffrey Cox, Stuart Curran, Damian Walford Davies, Jenny Uglow, R. S. White.

The conference will be held on the 29th floor of Guy’s Hospital Tower Building – with extensive views of the City of London.

We will visit the surroundings of Guy’s Hospital, including the celebrated John Keats statue in the quadrangle. One of our receptions will be held in the Old Operating Theatre at Guy’s, giving participants an opportunity to gather around the operating table with glasses of wine. Our second reception and buffet-banquet will be held in private, wood-panelled rooms at the historic seventeenth-century George Inn – London’s only surviving galleried inn.

old operating-theatre


Call for Papers

Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited, under the broad heading of ‘John Keats: Poet-Physician / Physician-Poet’. While there is no exclusive requirement as to topics, we welcome papers on the relation of Keats’s poetry, letters, life and times to any of the following:

 Medicine / poetry and medicine

Romantic-era hospitals

Medical training

Surgery / dissection / anatomy

Prescriptions and the pharmacopoeia

Infection / disease

Tuberculosis / consumption


Women’s health

Medical texts






Hallucination and drugs


States of Mind

The Senses

The Moon

Alchemy and Magic

Plants and Herbs

 This list offers some starting points for presentations and is not intended in any way to limit possible topics and themes for paper presentation. For obvious reasons, however, all papers should have a Keatsian focus.

Please send 200-word proposals as an email attached document to the conference administrator, Hrileena Ghosh hg27@st-andrews.ac.uk by 1 March 2015. Please ensure that your proposal is headed with your paper title, your name, institutional affiliation, and an e-mail contact address. Acceptances will be issued very shortly after 1 March 2015; please let us know if you have a deadline for travel or funding.

Please note: the conference registration fee will be confirmed when Registration opens in March 2015, and is likely to be in the region of £150 (full rate)/£90 (postgraduates and unwaged), inclusive of the two receptions; £100/£50 conference attendance only. Lunches, coffees, teas, biscuits, cakes and other refreshments are all included, as are conference stationary and electronic resources. We hope to reduce the conference fee further, numbers permitting. When submitting your paper proposal, please would you indicate whether you would like to attend the receptions. Every effort has been made to keep registration fees to a minimum. Travel and accommodation arrangements are left to delegates’ discretion.

guys1902 (2)

News from Keats House, Hampstead

Susan Kirby


31st October 2014

Once again John Keats’s birthday was marked at Keats House with tea and cake for all visitors. Sue Kirby made a cake using Keats’s maternal grandmother Mrs Jennings’ recipe that has been passed down to his descendants.

IMG_2189 cake small (2)

We also formally dedicated the bench purchased with a final donation from the Friends of Keats House:

IMG_2232 plaque small (2)

Jean Haynes had a great love of Keats and made a study of Keats’s family and friends, material she was always prepared to share with other researchers and writers. She was a Keats House committee member for many years and had a leading role in persuading the City of London Corporation to take responsibility for Keats House. We were joined on the day by members of Jean Haynes’ family, her two daughters and granddaughter.

IMG_2253 Haynes family small (2)

Marian Jolowicz

Marian was Secretary of the Friends of Keats House for over twenty years until the Friends’ merger with the Foundation in 2012. Sadly she had to go into hospital following a fall in late November last year. She was able to return home in early January and is now recovering at home with help from her nieces and a roster of carers. We hope that she will be back to her usual lively self soon.


Friends of Keats House Archive

Sue Kirby and Marian Jolowicz completed a sort of the Friends’ papers last summer and it has now been transferred to London Metropolitan Archives where it is available for research now and in the future. London Metropolitan Archives are based at 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB

Tel: (+44) 020 7332 3820

E-mail: ask.lma@cityoflondon.gov.uk


The Friends archive includes a complete run of Newsletters, Committee and AGM Minutes. There is also this charming illustration for The Eve of St Agnes, copyright of which was generously donated to the Friends by the artist, Eileen Aplin, in 1993. It was used for notelets that were sold to raise money for the House.

Hare Eve of St Agnes illus by Eileen Aplin small  (2)

St Agnes’ Eve – Ah, bitter chill it was!

The owl for all his feathers was a-cold;

The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,

And silent was the flock in woolly fold:

From The Eve of St Agnes by John Keats 1795-1821

John Keats Seminar at Keats-Shelley House, Rome

 John Keats’s Early Poems, 1814-1817

 A Seminar organized by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the Keats Foundation, and supported by the British School at Rome.

 31 October 2014 at the KEATS-SHELLEY HOUSE, Rome


Giuseppe Albano, Curator at Keats-Shelley House Rome writes:

As far as 2014’s cultural and academic events go a particular highlight was the Keats Foundation / Keats-Shelley Memorial Association Seminar on Keats’s early poems, 1814-1817, held at the Keats-Shelley House, Rome, on 31 October (the poet’s birthday) and inspired by the bicentenary of Keats’s composition of ‘Imitation of Spenser’, his earliest extant poem.

The seminar programme was decided following an international call for papers, which attracted a good response from Romanticists covering the widest possible spectrum of interests. In the end five speakers, from a variety of backgrounds and career stages, were invited to speak at the House on Keats’s early work. The keynote address was given by one of Italy’s leading Keats scholars, Nadia Fusini from the Scuola Normale Superiore, who gave an inspiring opening lecture titled ‘Keats. The Young Poet as Hero: Life as a Poetic Pilgrimage’. Given that Professor Fusini is currently editing a forthcoming major Italian edition of Keats to be published by Mondadori, we were especially privileged to have her on board. Those that followed offered different critical approaches to and close readings of Keats’s early work, and it is expected that the speakers – Dr Derek Lowe (University of South Alabama), Loredana Mihani (John Cabot University, Rome), Martin P. McNamee (Meredith College, North Carolina) and Chiara Moriconi (University of Rome, ‘La Sapienza’) – will publish their papers in the Keats-Shelley Review. For making the seminar such a success special thanks are due to Giuseppe Albano, Curator of the Keats-Shelley House, to Maria Valentini from the Rome Committee of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, for her help putting the programme together, and to the British School at Rome for their support.

Link to KF January 2015 Newsletter