September 2015



The Newsletter of The Keats Foundation

September 2015

Since our last Newsletter the Keats Foundation (Registered charity No. 1147589) has presented a lecture on ‘John Keats at Winchester’ delivered by Foundation Chair, Professor Nicholas Roe, and organised two further events for the autumn and early New Year. Plans are in train for our third bicentenary conference to be held in 2016. We continue our substantial sponsorship of the Keats House Young Poets.

Stop Press: John Keats Bicentenary Conferences: 2016 at Keats House

We are delighted to announce that the Keats Foundation’s 2016 John Keats bicentenary conference will be held on 20-22 May at Keats House, Hampstead, London. Further details and the Call for Papers will follow soon.

Forthcoming events

Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Keats and ‘Negative Capability’ Keats House, Hampstead, Wednesday 4 November, 7 – 8.30pm

Dr. Margot Waddell, psychoanalyst, and Dr. Toni Griffiths, Trustee of the Keats Foundation, explore how Keats’s insight into negative capability has influenced the field of psychoanalysis.

Toni Griffiths says: ‘Keats used the term, ‘Negative Capability’, in a letter to his brothers and meant by it the ability to tolerate what is uncertain or doubtful without rushing irritably to closure. Our talks aim to set out where the idea of Negative Capability springs from and lives in Keats, and to show how his idea has been taken up and thought about in the field of psychoanalysis. We hope to show that a real connection has been made, an important interdisciplinary engagement’.

Free, booking recommended through Eventbrite. Go to:


John Keats’s birthday Wreath-Laying

The Keats Foundation’s annual wreath-laying will be at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 30 October at 11.30 am. There is a cap on numbers, administered on a first-come-first-serve basis; places must be reserved using this link:

Exact details (where to meet, etc.) will be communicated to those who have confirmed a place.


St Agnes’ Eve.

The Keats Foundation will be celebrating St Agnes’ Eve with a reception at the Guildhall Gallery, 6-7 pm, on Wednesday 20 January 2016. We look forward to welcoming all Keats Foundation Supporters who wish to attend. Please RSVP using this link:

News from Keats House Hampstead

In addition to the Keats Foundation’s ’negative capability’ evening on Wednesday 4 November (see above) further details of forthcoming events can be found at


Highlighted events at Keats House —–

Friday 30 October

Medicine for Melancholy: Late Night Keats

7-9.30 pm

Join us for an after-hours party to treat the blues! Explore our beautiful Georgian villa at this this special late night event inspired by Keats’s fascination with Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. Concoct your own recipe for treating this malady, learn more about this amazing publication and hear about Keats’s medical training. Soothe your soul and treat your mood at our pop-up bar; all accompanied by Burton’s recommended remedy: music. Featuring blues and jazz classics from Catherine Lima on vocals and Gabriel Keen on piano. For lovers of literature and life – adults only. Part of Museums at Night.

£8 (includes a complimentary drink), booking essential


Sunday 22 November

Make a Regency Bonnet

11am – 4.30pm

In this workshop with costume designer Lindsay Holmes you will learn a quick and easy way of making a poke bonnet. In the morning you will create the bonnet structure from sinamay, learning skills you can use again to make modern head pieces. The afternoon will be spent decorating your bonnet with ribbons, feathers and other fashionable trims.

£40 includes all materials


Tuesday 15 December

A Keatsian Christmas

6.30 – 8.30pm

An evening of poetry and games focusing on Christmas festivities during the Romantic period – as enjoyed by Keats, Leigh Hunt and their friends. Join us for a relaxed and entertaining evening of poetry readings, riddles, quizzes and festive refreshments of the Regency period. In partnership with UCL English Department.


Sunday 27 December

Keats in the City Guided Walk

11am – 1.30pm, meet at Moorgate tube

Follow in the footsteps of John Keats, the radical medical student, and discover the London haunts of this ‘Cockney Poet’. From Keats’s birthplace we explore areas where he lived and studied, including Cheapside, Apothecaries’ Hall and Guy’s Hospital. Enjoy readings from Keats’s poems and letters along the way.

£10/£8 concessions, booking essential


Marian Jolowicz

Marian Jolowicz, who was Secretary to the Friends of Keats House for many years prior to the merger with the Keats Foundation, passed away on 30 September, after a difficult final 14 months of coping with heart disease. Marian’s funeral will be held at Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, London NW11 on Monday 19 October at 2pm.


New Publication

Keiren Phelan, Sixpence a Pint: John Keats in Winchester. Fulflood Press, Winchester, 2015. 32 pp. To order, please send a self addressed C5 size envelope to Fulflood Press, 28 Clifton Road, Winchester SO22 5BU.

Sixpence a Pint cropped

Sixpence a Pint: John Keats in Winchester by Keiren Phelan gives a fresh account of Keats’s weeks at Winchester in autumn 1819, quoting from some of the letters he wrote while there. Keats’s time at Winchester was perhaps the most significant period of ‘a remarkable twelvemonth’, as Phelan points out; after ‘To Autumn’ he wrote ‘little other poetry of note’. An intriguing contribution to Keats studies here is the speculation that Keats’s lodging were on Colebrook Street, from where he could walk ‘out at the back gate across one street’ – Paternoster Row, ‘into the Cathedral Yard … then I pass under the trees along a paved path, pass the beautiful front of the Cathedral, turn to the left under a stone door way’. The booklet is illustrated with a help map setting out Keats’s Winchester, and early photographs of Colebrook Street and Paternoster Row.