FOREVER YOUNG by Blanche Colton Williams


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A book for the literati, largely, for library and school shelves -- perhaps, but as a revealing study of the man Keats, disappointing to the general reader. In selecting and limiting the time period to cover only the last four years of his life, and in using flashbacks to suggest what went before, the result is often confusing and incomplete for those with no pre-knowledge of the subject. The use of actual quotations from the letters and poems fictionally -- as sources of Keats' thoughts and conversations -- gives much of what is intended as dialogue a too literary and unnatural feel. Covered in this way is his reading and its effect on him, his poetic inspiration (often very well done), his journeys with friends, his love for Fanny Brawne (one of the high points of the book), his closeness to his brothers, and the last trip to Italy with Severn. It is all on an intellectual plane, and one sees Keats as a mind rather than as a man. Of experimental interest, but more apt to supplement than to replace previous volumes on Keats.

ISBN: 1417989904
Publisher: Putnam