Updated: Mar 30, 2022
John Keats was born in London, England, on October 31, 1795, to Thomas Keats and Frances Jennings as the oldest son of their four children. His father was a livery-stable keeper and both his parents died at Keats’ early age and were taken care of by his grandparents. He went to Clarke’s school in Enfield which was closer to his grandfather’s house later he joined in medicine to become a surgeon consequently, he became a licensed apothecary in 1816. Even though, his interests turned towards the arts and literature.
John Keats’ desire for exquisiteness is reflected in his popular quote from Endymion, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” which is reflected in all his works (Endymion was published in 1818 while he was 22 years old). His first poem was written at the age of nineteen “An Imitation of Spenser” which was inspired by fellow poets Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron. He published his first poem “O Solitude”, a sonnet in the journal The Examiner (in which Leigh Hunt was one of the founders) in May 1816. Keats didn’t have an interest in reforming the world like his contemporaries. He had plenty of criticisms for his writing style one among them is “imperturbable driveling idiocy” by John Gibson Lockhart.
Keats had two important women whom he wrote poems about in his life; Isabella Jones and Fanny Browne. He economically suffered and he was tormented by a hopeless affair. His health began to fail. He developed tuberculosis. Keats died in Rome on 23 February 1821.
Publication date 2001 Keats, John, 1795-1821, Examinations, Keats, John, 1795-1821, Examinations- Publisher: Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers