Keats House Museum

Keats House Museum Keats House is a beautiful Georgian villa where John Keats found inspiration, friendship and love.
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The poet John Keats lived in this house from 1818 to 1820, and it is the setting that inspired some of Keats’s most memorable poetry. Here, Keats wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale', and fell in love with Fanny Brawne, the girl next door. It was from this house that he travelled to Rome, where he died of tuberculosis aged just 25. The house is a thriving museum that is not only dedicated to Keats's memory but a center for contemporary poetry. Keats House is owned and provided by the City of London Corporation. Facebook is a public page. Please bear this in mind when posting your comments, especially regarding personal information. Further information on the City of London Corporation can be found at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk. The City of London Corporation is always happy to hear from you but please keep posts relevant. All comments will be monitored by Facebook and the City and any comments that are offensive or inappropriate will be removed. People who persistently cause conflict or offence to others will be removed and blocked from our social media pages.

29/04/2020
Gordale

Here is Wordsworth’s sonnet “Gordale” read by Isy with “Gordale Scar, Yorkshire” by Samuel Stringer at Grosvenor Museum.

Gordale scar doesn’t quite look like this anymore, have you been there?
#AfternoonPoems

‘I went and unbox’d a Shakspeare – ‘’There’s my Comfort...’’ ‘ John Keats (mis)quoting Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in a ...
23/04/2020

‘I went and unbox’d a Shakspeare – ‘’There’s my Comfort...’’ ‘
John Keats (mis)quoting Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in a letter to his brothers George and Tom, 15 April 1817.

Keats called Shakespeare, born #Onthisday, his ‘Presider’ and imagined the Bard watching over him as he made difficult decisions about life, love and poetry. He chose to illustrate the title page of his first poetry collection with a portrait of his guiding genius.

Shakespeare’s poetic themes were love, beauty, mortality and nature, and Keats read him avidly. The loss of his mother and young brother to illness lent an intensity to his poems about the transience of spring, human beauty and human life.

Keats’s 1819 poem ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, explores the way a love scene on a Greek vase freezes a transient moment in time:-

Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu...

Shakespeare explores the same feeling in Sonnet 18

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date...

Do quotes from Shakespeare inspire you? Send us your favourites!
#ShareyourShakespeare #Shakespeare #VisittheCityfromHome

Shed no tear! Oh, shed no tear!The flower will bloom another year.Weep no more! Oh, weep no more!Young buds sleep in the...
22/04/2020

Shed no tear! Oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! Oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core...

From 'Fairy Song' by John Keats
#EarthDay50 #poetry #romanticism

On this day exactly 200 years ago, John Keats wrote a letter to his 17 year old sister, protectively optimistic about hi...
21/04/2020

On this day exactly 200 years ago, John Keats wrote a letter to his 17 year old sister, protectively optimistic about his health, and trying to cheer her up because she was stuck living with a boring guardian in Walthamstow:-

'My dear Fanny—I have been slowly improving since I wrote last. The Doctor assures me that there is nothing the matter with me except nervous irritability and a general weakness of the whole system, which has proceeded from my anxiety of mind of late years and the too great excitement of poetry. Mr. Brown is going to Scotland by the Smack, and I am advised for change of exercise and air to accompany him and give myself the chance of benefit from a Voyage ... They tell me I must study lines and tangents and squares and angles to put a little Ballast into my mind... Now the fine weather is come you will not find your time so irksome. You must be sensible how much I regret not being able to alleviate the unpleasantness of your situation, but trust my dear Fanny that better times are in wait for you.
Your affectionate Brother
John ——. '

Fanny kept John's letters, and that is why we can read them today.

During the lockdown, we have become more aware of spring birdsong, and this month's poem celebrates a bird as symbol of ...
18/04/2020

During the lockdown, we have become more aware of spring birdsong, and this month's poem celebrates a bird as symbol of the spirit.

Keats House Poem of the Month - April
from 'To a Skylark', by Percy Shelley

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest....

The Romantic poet Percy Shelley, almost contemporary with Keats, was born in 1792 and died by drowning in 1822. He was regarded as one of the finest lyrical and philosophical poets. 'To a Skylark' was written in June 1820 during an evening walk.

Here's the next #Keats200  instalment.200 years ago in April 1820, John Keats wrote four letters to his younger sister F...
15/04/2020

Here's the next #Keats200 instalment.
200 years ago in April 1820, John Keats wrote four letters to his younger sister Fanny, all in the optimistic tone he usually adopted for her. About his health, he wrote on 1 April:- 'I am getting better every day and should think myself quite well if i were not reminded every now and then by faintness and tightness in the chest'

He cheerfully told her to send her spaniel over to Hampstead for him to look after, and assured her on 12 April 'The Dog is being attended to like a prince'

To his girlfriend Fanny Brawne he was also optimistic about his health, whether he actually believed he was getting better or not.
He said
'I rely upon taking a walk with you upon the first of may...You appear'd very much fatigued last night: you must look a little brighter this morning, I shall not suffer my little girl ever to be obscured like glass breathed upon but always bright as it is her nature to'

Keats also described himself stuck indoors on an invalid diet. His doctor had ordered him to avoid the excitement of writing poetry, seeing his girlfriend, or eating rich food, because he thought it would make his illness worse - all the enjoyable things in life! - He wrote: Feeding upon sham victuals and sitting by the fire will completely annul me' - many of us will sympathise at the moment!

The image below is of Fanny Brawne.

12/04/2020
Gordale

Here is Wordsworth’s sonnet “Gordale” read by Isy with “Gordale Scar, Yorkshire” by Samuel Stringer at Grosvenor Museum.

Gordale scar doesn’t quite look like this anymore, have you been there?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
The Prelude: The Boat Stealing

Here’s an extract from “The Prelude” known as Boat Stealing read by Tina. This painting is “Keswick Lake, Cumberland” by George Howland Beaumont at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

Do you have any favourite childhood memories in nature?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
Written upon the Thames near Richmond

This is “Written upon the Thames near Richmond” read by John. This painting is “View on the River Thames at Richmond“ by William Marlow at Yale Center For British Art.

Where do you go to relax and immerse yourself in nature?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal 15th April 1802

This journal extract from Dorothy Wordsworth was William's inspiration for “Daffodils” read by Isy. It was written after a walk around Ullswater. Here's “Ullwater, Cumbria” by David Murray, held at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

How much do you think Dorothy helped William with his work?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
Daffodils

“Daffodils” read by our poetry ambassador John. This beautiful painting is called “Whispering Eve” by William Gilbert Foster at Manchester Art Gallery.

Have you seen many daffodils “tossing their heads in sprightly dance” this year? Send us your pictures!
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
The Prelude: Residence in Cambridge

This is an extract from “Residence at Cambridge” from “The Prelude” read by Tina. Here’s “King’s Parade” by Thomas Malton ll from Yale Center For British Art.

Where would you like to go when we can travel again?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
A whirl-blast from behind the hil

Here's John reading “A whirl-blast from behind the hill” with James Baker Pyne’s “Lake Windermere from Orrest Head” in the Wordsworth Museum And Dove Cottage, Grasmere collection.

Oh to get caught in a storm right now! Do you know any other examples of poetry or paintings about a storm?
#AfternoonPoems

12/04/2020
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

“Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” read by Isy. This painting is “Westminster Abbey and Bridge” by Joseph Farington from Yale Center For British Art.

Not sure London could be described in “the beauty of the morning; silent, bare” anymore.
#AfternoonPoems

Welcome to our Afternoon Poems! On the second Sunday of the month, our Poetry Ambassadors take part in a themed poetry r...
12/04/2020

Welcome to our Afternoon Poems!

On the second Sunday of the month, our Poetry Ambassadors take part in a themed poetry reading at Keats House. With the temporary closure, we thought it would be best if we brought the poems to you online instead.

Our theme is William Wordsworth, born 250 years ago. This portrait is by Henry William Pickersgill in Wordsworth Museum And Dove Cottage, Grasmere's collection. If you didn’t have the chance, take a look at their social media to see how they celebrated Wordsworth’s life earlier this week. During these strange times with limited outside travel, we've focussed on place and nature in Wordsworth's poetry. We can bring the outside world to you, in the comfort of your home!

Our poetry ambassadors reading today are: Isy, John and Tina. Images are from Artuk who’s public art collection is well worth some time exploring. We have 9 extracts of poems for you to listen to, feel free to come back to them whenever suits you, they will be staying on social media channels for a while at least.
#AfternoonPoems

This is from a letter John Keats wrote to his sister on 1st April 1820.  He was 'self isolating'  after a lung haemorrha...
01/04/2020

This is from a letter John Keats wrote to his sister on 1st April 1820. He was 'self isolating' after a lung haemorrhage February. He actually had terminal TB, (and probably knew it) - it was rife in 1820s London. His doctors said he had a nervous condition and only needed to rest with no excitement, either from people or poetry! It's touching how he makes light of his illness to his younger sister.

'I am getting better every day and should think myself quite well were i not reminded every now and then by faintness and a tightness in the chest. Send your Spaniel over to Hampstead for i think i know where to find a Master or Mistress for him......'

01/04/2020
Keats House

Here is a chance to watch the excellent film about John Keats that we have running in our basement when we are open! Hope you enjoy it!

Explore the life and work of Keats through new exhibits of his original manuscripts and artifacts which tell the story of how the young poet found inspiratio...

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;And give us not to think so far awayAs the uncertain harvest; keep us hereAll...
28/03/2020

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
....

A Prayer in Spring, by Robert Frost

Robert Frost was a celebrated American poet, born in California in 1873. He was influence by John Keats. Like him, he wrote about human reaction to nature's processes. 'A Prayer in Spring' was published in 1915, during World War 1.

Based on current Government advice on Coronavirus/Covid-19, we regret to inform you that Keats House is closed to the pu...
17/03/2020

Based on current Government advice on Coronavirus/Covid-19, we regret to inform you that Keats House is closed to the public until further notice. Further information and updates will be posted on our website: https://buff.ly/2UbDd6B.

Shadows NumberlessA free week of creative writing workshops for ages 15-19.For our 2020 Summer School, we're marking the...
10/03/2020

Shadows Numberless
A free week of creative writing workshops for ages 15-19.

For our 2020 Summer School, we're marking the end of John Keats’s time at Keats House, which saw the brightest and the darkest times of his life.
Our theme for the week is Shadow and Light.
There will be workshops and readings by published authors, and opportunities to discuss and present your own work.

..Contributors include Francis Hardinge, (Cuckoo Song, … Deeplight, The Lie Tree) - Costa Prize winner 2015, . and Keats House poet Dean Atta (The Black Flamingo).
Tuesday 30 June - Friday 3 July, 10 am - 3 pm

For more information or to book a session, contact Linda Carey: [email protected], 020 7332 3868

Shadows NumberlessA free week of creative writing workshops for ages 15-19. For our 2020 Summer School, we're marking th...
10/03/2020

Shadows Numberless
A free week of creative writing workshops for ages 15-19.

For our 2020 Summer School, we're marking the end of John Keats’s time at Keats House, which saw the brightest and the darkest times of his life.
Our theme for the week is Shadow and Light.
There will be workshops and readings by published authors, and opportunities to discuss and present your own work.

..Contributors include Francis Hardinge, (Cuckoo Song, … Deeplight, The Lie Tree) - Costa Prize winner 2015, . and Keats House poet Dean Atta (The Black Flamingo).
Tuesday 30 June - Friday 3 July, 10 am - 3 pm

For more information or to book a session, contact Linda Carey: [email protected], 020 7332 3868

The already famous poet Shelley first met Mary Godwin in London when she was sixteen, while visiting with her father, th...
10/03/2020
Shelley: ‘The Trumpet of a Prophecy’ Guided Walk

The already famous poet Shelley first met Mary Godwin in London when she was sixteen, while visiting with her father, the writer and anarchist philosopher William Godwin who lived at 41 Skinner Street several blocks east from the New St Pancras Parish Church on Euston Road. Mary’s mother Mary Wollstonecraft, a well known woman’s rights reformer and author died at Mary’s birth in 1797. Mary and Shelley spent time together taking walks to visit her mother’s grave, usually chaperoned, but they very possibly made love for the first time among the gravestones of the Old St. Pancras Church graveyard on July 28th, 1814, the date Mary Shelley always considered the anniversary of their "union", after which they fled for Dover and Paris.
Find out more on a guided walk of the area on 14 March.
Booking at https://bit.ly/2QiisoL

A guided walk focusing on the life and works of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

08/03/2020

Keats House Poem of the Month - March
from 'A shropshire Lad' by A.E. Houseman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Alfred Edward Housman was born in Worcestershire, England in 1859. He published two volumes of poetry during his life, including A Shropshire Lad (1896), which was widely read during World War I.

"A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artis...
07/03/2020
Dean Atta: The Black Flamingo

"A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour. "

Meet Dean Atta, author of this novel, and our Poet in Residence at Keats House on 12 March
Booking at https://bit.ly/3cDeS1V

An event with the current Keats House poet in residence.

"A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artis...
07/03/2020
Dean Atta: The Black Flamingo

"A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour. "

Meet Dean Atta, author of this novel, and our Poet in Residence at Keats House on 12 March
Booking at https://bit.ly/2IoKLgO

An event with the current Keats House poet in residence.

The sun looks oer the willows & pursuesHis travels oer a blue expanse of skyeOft met by playing clouds in light limbd hu...
01/03/2020

The sun looks oer the willows & pursues
His travels oer a blue expanse of skye
Oft met by playing clouds in light limbd hues
Like visions of the fancy passing bye
Field heaths & commons stretch beneath his eye
As green as meadows — little birds revive
As from a trance with chittring noise & song

From 'Spring' by John Clare
Born a couple of years before Keats, John Clare was a Romantic poet who celebrated the English countryside. He started as son of a farm labourer, became the toast of London literary society and ended his life in a mental asylum.
find out more at our free Afternoon Poems on Sunday 8 March. Booking at https://bit.ly/2PE8E81

15/02/2020

If you are planning on visiting KeatsHouse
this weekend, please keep an eye on weather warnings for Storm Dennis and our social media posts, as we may have to close at 1pm on Saturday afternoon if local wind gusts exceed 45mph.

09/02/2020

Due to today’s high wind speeds, Keats House
will be closed today and all events at the site, including Afternoon Poems, are cancelled. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. Please also note that other sites managed by the City of London Corporation
are also affected by Storm Ciara.

Why did Regency women make up their faces to look feverish? What on earth is 'consumptive chic'? come to our Keats House...
08/02/2020

Why did Regency women make up their faces to look feverish? What on earth is 'consumptive chic'? come to our Keats House Late on Thursday 13 Feb to try out some Regency cosmetics and make a bandeau for evening wear with feathers and pearls! Our actors playing Keats and Fanny will be in the house, and you can enjoy a drink from the bar.
book at https://bit.ly/2H6z0uF

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10 Keats Grove
London
NW3 2RR

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Comments

It was a real pleasure and an honour to be Poet in Residence at Keats House Museum (May-August). Come and hear some of the poems I wrote while at the house and maybe also read a poem or two on the Open Mic 2pm this Sunday at Keats House Museum (FREE EVENT):
An excellent modern classical poem on the final days of summer. It is very reminiscent of Keats!
Spent a beautiful afternoon at the amazing Keats' House and Garden in Hampstead, reading gorgeous poetry.
Dear Keats House Museum, I just found this page and your post on the Ode to a Nightingale manuscript. I thought it might be worth sharing something to compliment your post. It is a newly produced recitation of the Ode to a Nightingale. The recitation is part of The Chained Muse website's month-long bicentenary celebration of Keats miracle year of 1819. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbXV804n7Fo Best, David Gosselin Editor www.thechainedmuse.com
Winter Crocus from the garden of Keats House Sunny Sunday 24th Feb 2019
Perhaps some admirers might be interested- I translated recently La Belle Dame into Hindustānī.
Here is the other side:
Don’t be jelly! It’s my new favorite color changing mug! When cold, it is glossy black! Add hot liquid and:
What is the entry fee?
Visited Keats' House to day with David Gilbert. Lovely house and the whole visit was very educational. Learnt things about Keats that I did not know
This EVE OF ST AGNES water colour painting by Sharon Pinsker is just too good not to share !!