September 2016



The Newsletter of the Keats Foundation September 2016


This issue of ‘The Keatsian’ looks forward to forthcoming Keats Foundation events for October, January, and May: the annual wreath laying at Westminster Abbey, our celebration of St Agnes Eve, a repeat of the highly successful ‘Negative capability’ evening, and the 2017 bicentenary conference.


Dates for your Diary:

Monday 31 October at 10. 30 am – John Keats birthday wreath-laying at Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey. Priority for Keats Foundation members who wish to attend.

Friday 20 January 2017 – the Keats Foundation annual St Agnes’ Eve celebration, Guildhall Gallery. 6 pm. Please check the Keats Foundation website for confirmation and any updates.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 Dr. Margot Waddell and Dr. Toni Griffiths will repeat their acclaimed evening discussing Keats and Negative Capability. More news about this in our January issue of The Keatsian.

Friday 19 May-Sunday 21 May, the fourth Keats Foundation Bicentenary Conference at Keats House, Hampstead: ‘John Keats, 1817: Moments, Meetings, and the Making of a Poet’.


The Keats Foundation Annual Lecture 2016

R. S. White (The University of Western Australia and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions 1100-1800) presented the Keats Foundation Annual Lecture 2016 on 6 September 2016 at Keats House, Hampstead, London. His title was ‘”Ethereal Finger-Pointings”: Associative Memories and Keats’s Shakespearean Quotations’, and his lecture ranged widely over concepts of memory, Keats’s creative response to his ‘presider’ Shakespeare in poems and letters, and his reflections on his own creativity and Shakespeare’s.

Bob focused on some ‘enchanted phrases’ in one of Keats’s letters, in particular ‘voyage of conception’ and ‘ethereal finger-pointings’, both leading towards Shakespeare. He explored a critically neglected but important cluster of subjects for many Romantics, the association of ideas, the art of memory, and creative intertextuality between writers – in this case Keats and Shakespeare. He revealed how Keats developed a theory of the associative memory and actually demonstrated it in operation, using Shakespeare and in particular The Tempest as the running link.

Some forty Keatsians attended the lecture, and the lively question session (which ran over time) and glasses of white wine completed a stimulating and memorable evening. R. S. White’s lecture is available to read on the Keats Foundation website .




Fourth John Keats Bicentenary Conference at Keats House, Hampstead, 19-21 May 2017

John Keats, 1817: Moments, Meetings, and the Making of a Poet

The Keats Foundation’s bicentennial Keats Conference for 2017 will be from Friday 19 – Sunday 21 May 2017 at Keats House, Hampstead, London.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • Kelvin Everest (Liverpool)
  • Theresa M. Kelley (Wisconsin)
  • Greg Kucich (Notre Dame) Guest of Honour

So many important things happened in 1817 for John Keats, from his decision to quit medicine and the momentous publication of Poems to his seeing the Elgin Marbles, meeting Isabella Jones, writing his ‘Negative Capability’ letter and finishing Endymion just as the first of Blackwood’s attacks on the ‘Cockney School’ began. As 1817 drew to a close Keats was at the ‘Immortal Dinner’ in Haydon’s painting room. This was the year when so much was put in motion for Keats’s later writings and literary relationships.

Papers will be welcomed on any aspect of Keats’s writings, life and literary relationships in 1817 and beyond. A bicentenary focus 1817-2017 would be helpful, but all paper proposals on John Keats will be welcomed. The formal Call for Papers will be issued later in the autumn of this year.


The 2017 Keats Bicentenary Diary

Peter Phillips (who has given papers at each of the Foundation’s Keats Bicentenary Conferences) has produced a John Keats Bicentenary Diary for 2017.  Each week of 2017 has the dates and space for diary entries (as you’d expect) on the right-hand page. Facing it is the equivalent week in 1817, with information about Keats’s activities and an extract from what he was writing at the time. The diary is A5 hardback with 126 pages.

Price including Post & Packing within the UK: £11.99

Price including Post & Packing for the rest of Europe: £15.50

Price including Airmail Post & Packing for other countries: £18

To order, please send a cheque to:

A. P. Phillips, 57 Station Road, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 8DP


News from Keats House, Hampstead

An Update from Frankie Kubicki, Senior Curator, Keats House Hampstead

As the Autumn settles in the Keats House garden, we are pleased to announce our new winter season of events. Highlights include a celebratory reading by the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for Keats’s birthday on Sunday 30 October. Join us for a special celebration of the remarkable poet and his work over a reading of his best poems. For fans of after-hours museum trips, we will be offering candlelight tours of Keats House on Thursday 24 November and Thursday 15 December, tickets cost £15 and places are limited. Don’t miss this memorable opportunity to learn about the life and times of the great Romantic poet in a cozy and intimate atmosphere. As the festive season approaches at the end of November, Keats House will be dressed with evergreens, orange slices and spices for the occasion and feature a Christmas tree in the Victorian Chester Room.

To book tickets for these events and to find out what else is on at Keats House, please visit


Last chance to take part in our Keats and Shakespeare House Trail

To commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, Keats House is displaying a special trail highlighting key exhibits that tell the story of Shakespeare’s influence on Keats. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Keats’s annotated copies of Shakespearian works on display for the first time in nearly twenty years. The trail will run until Sunday 30 October and is free with admission to the house.


Changed opening hours

We are pleased to announce that we will be opening 5 days a week throughout the winter period from Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-5pm, giving you more time to enjoy Keats House.


A copy of the September 2016 Newsletter may be downloaded here