Tribute to novellist Dick Francis

British steeplechase jockey and crime writer, Richard Stanley “Dick” Francis CBE FRSL Was born 31 October 1920   in Coedcanlas, Pembrokeshire, Wales.Some sources report his birthplace as the inland town of Lawrenny, but at least two of his obituaries stated his birthplace as the coastal town of Tenby.His autobiography says that he was born at his maternal grandparents’ farm at Coedcanlas on the estuary of the River Cleddau,roughly a mile north-west of Lawrenny  He was the son of a jockey and stable managerand he grew up in Berkshire, England. He left school at 15 without any qualifications,with the intention of becoming a jockey and became a trainer in 1938

During World War II, Francis volunteered, hoping to join the cavalry. Instead, he served in the Royal Air Force, working as ground crew and later piloting fighter and bomber aircraft, including the Spitfire and Hurricane.He said in an interview that he spent much of his six years in the Air Force in Africa.In October 1945, he met Mary Margaret Brenchley (17 June 1924 – 30 September 2000), at a cousin’s wedding. In most interviews, they say that it was love at first sight. (Francis has some of his characters fall similarly in love within moments of meeting, as in the novels Flying Finish, Knockdown, and The Edge.)Their families were not entirely happy with their engagement, but Dick and Mary were married in June, 1947, in London. She had earned a degree in English and French from London University at the age of 19, was an assistant stage manager and later worked as a publisher’s reader. She also became a pilot, and her experiences flying contributed to many novels, including Flying Finish, Rat Race, and Second Wind. She contracted polio while pregnant with their first child, a plight dramatized to a greater extent in the novel Forfeit, which Francis called one of his favorites. They had two sons, Merrick and Felix (born 1953. ‘

After leaving the RAF in 1946, Francis became a celebrity in the world of British National Hunt racing.He won over 350 races, becoming champion jockey in the 1953–54 season.Shortly after becoming a professional, he was offered the prestige job of first jockey to Vivian Smith, Lord Bicester.From 1953 to 1957 he was jockey to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. His most famous moment as a jockey came while riding the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch, in the 1956 Grand National when the horse inexplicably fell when close to winning the race. Decades later, Francis considered losing that race his greatest regret and called it “a disaster of massive proportions.”[6]Like most jump jockeys, Francis had his share of injuries. Unlike most, he was hospitalized at the age of 12 when a pony fell on him and broke his jaw and nose. A career featuring broken bones and damaged organs found its way into many novels, whose narrators suffer a variety of damaged bodies. Also The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, that in 1983, the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in England “stood at the brink of extinction,”  So ‘”Britain’s Jockey Club negotiated a $14 million deal to buy the land and save the race forever. by enlisting two prominent racing personalities – Lord Derby and novelist Dick Francis – were selected to raise the money in a worldwide campaign.” Other philanthropists, including Charles C. Fenwick Jr., who rode Ben Nevis to victory in the 1980 Grand National, and Paul Mellon, a breeder and racing enthusiast, also contributed to save the race.

After retiring from horse racing on the advice of Lord Abergevenny Francis Went onto Write more than 40 international best-sellers. His first book was his autobiography The Sport of Queens (1957), for which he was offered the aid of a ghostwriter, which he spurned. The book’s success led to his becoming the racing correspondent for London’s Sunday Express newspaper, and he remained in the job for 16 years.In 1962, he published his first thriller, Dead Cert, set in the world of racing. Subsequently he regularly produced a novel a year for the next 38 years, missing only 1998 (during which he published a short-story collection). Although all his books were set against a background of horse racing, his male heroes held a variety of jobs including artist (In the Frame and To the Hilt), private investigator (Odds Against, Whip Hand, Come to Grief, Under Orders—all starring injured ex-jockey Sid Halley, one of only two heroes used more than once), investigator for the Jockey Club (The Edge), pilot (Rat Race and Flying Finish), wine merchant (Proof) and many others. All the novels are narrated by the hero, who in the course of the story discovers himself to be more resourceful, brave, tricky, than he had thought, and usually finds a certain salvation for himself as well as bestowing it on others. Details of other people’s occupations fascinated Francis, and the reader finds himself or herself immersed in the mechanics of such things as photography, accountancy, the gemstone trade, restaurant service on transcontinental trains—but always in the interests of the plot. Dysfunctional families were a subject which he exploited particularly well (Reflex, a baleful grandmother; Hot Money, a multi-millionaire father and serial ex-husband; Decider, the related co-owners of a racecourse).His first novel, Dead Cert, was also filmed under the same title in 1974. Directed by Tony Richardson, it starred Scott Antony, Judi Dench and Michael Williams. It was adapted again as Favorit (a Russian made-for-television movie) in 1977Francis’s protagonist Sid Halley was featured in six TV movies made for the program The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game(1979-1980), starring Mike Gwilym as Halley and Mick Ford as his partner, Chico Barnes. One of the shows, Odds Against, used a Francis title; the others were created for the program.Three more TV films of 1989 were adaptations of Bloodsport, In the Frame, and Twice Shy, all starring Ian McShane and featuring protagonist David Cleveland, a name actually used only once by Francis, in the novel Slayride.Francis is the only three-time recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Novel, winning for Forfeit in 1970,Whip Hand in 1981, and Come To Grief in 1996. Britain’s Crime Writers Association awarded him its Gold Dagger Award for fiction in 1979 and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. he was granted another Lifetime Achievement Award .Tufts University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1991. In 1996 he was given the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, the highest honour bestowed by the MWA. In 2000, he was granted the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1983 and promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000]Mary Amoroso wrote in 1989, “And yet he has a keen sense of the evanescence of literary endeavors. ‘Whole months of work can be gone in four hours,’ he says ruefully. ‘People say they can’t put my books down, and so they read them in one sitting of four hours.’ Francis has been long accustomed to celebrity as a British sports star, but today he is a worldwide phenomenon, having been published in 22 languages. In Australia, he is recognized in restaurants, from his book-jacket picture. He and Mary will see people reading the novels on planes and trains.”Francis was elected in 1999 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature’

n the 1980s, Francis and his wife moved to Florida; in 1992, they moved to the Cayman Islands, where Mary died of a heart attack in 2000. In 2006, Francis had a heart bypass operation; in 2007 his right leg was amputated. He sadly died of natural causes on 14 February 2010 at his Caribbean home in Grand Cayman, survived by both sons.

 

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Halloween

monster_artwork_12Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints). According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as “guising”), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films

Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots – some folklorists have detected its origins in Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain”, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”. Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx) calendar. It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year This was a time for stock-taking and preparing for the cold winter ahead; cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered. In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Some of these rituals hint that they may once have involved human sacrifice. Divination games or rituals were also done at Samhain.

Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the ‘door’ to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world. The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Lewis Spence described it as a “feast of the dead” and “festival of the fairies”. However, harmful spirits and fairies were also thought to be active at Samhain. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies, which is thought to have influenced today’s Halloween customs. Before the 20th century, wearing costumes at Samhain was done in parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and Wales. Wearing costumes may have originated as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies, although some suggest that the custom comes from a Christian or Christianized belief ). In Ireland, people went about before nightfall collecting for Samhain feasts and sometimes wore costumes while doing so. In the 19th century on Ireland’s southern coast, a man dressed as a white mare would lead youths door-to-door collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the ‘Muck Olla’ In Moray during the 18th century, boys called at each house in their village asking for fuel for the Samhain bonfire. The modern custom of trick-or-treating may have come from these practices. Alternatively, it may come from the Christian custom of souling . Making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween may also have sprung from Samhain and Celtic beliefs. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were made on Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. As well as being used to light one’s way while outside on Samhain night, they may also have been used to represent the spirits/fairies and/or to protect oneself and one’s home from them.

Halloween is also thought to have been influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows, Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2.They are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13. In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV.By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory. “Souling”, the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for “all crysten christened souls”, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door on All Saints/All Souls collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of  whimpering like a beggar at Hallowmas.” The custom of wearing costumes came about because itwas traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities”. In Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Nicholas Rogers explained Halloween jack-o’-lanterns as originally being representations of souls in purgatory.ln Brittany children would set candles in skulls in graveyards. ln Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as Protestants berated purgatory . This, coupled with the rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, led to Halloween’s popularity waning in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland. There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages, and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country. Traditions and importance of Halloween vary greatly among countries that observe it. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in scary costumes going “guising”, holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays. Surprisingly Halloween was not celebrated in North America until the Mass Irish and Scottish transatlantic immigration in the 19th century popularized it in North America. This has had a significant impact on how the event is observed in other nations too. This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, (most) continental Europe, Japan, and other parts of East Asia.

Larry Mullen jnr (U2 )

Larry Mullen jnr was born 31 October 1961  . He attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, where he met fellow bandmates Adam Clayton and Bono (Paul Hewson) and was reunited with his boyhood friend Dave “The Edge” Evans. Mullen had posted an advertisement on the school bulletin board for musicians to form a band with him; Clayton showed up at the first practice, which also included Dik Evans, Dave Evans’s older brother, Ivan McCormick, and Peter Martin, who were two of Mullen’s friends. McCormick and Martin left the band soon after its conception. While the band was a five-piece (consisting of Bono, The Edge, Mullen, Evans, and Clayton), it was known as Feedback. The name was subsequently changed to The Hype, but changed to “U2″ soon after Dik Evans left the band.U2′s early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group’s musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge’s timbrally varied guitar sounds and Bono’s expressive vocals.Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, they became a top international act.

At first They were more successful as live performers than they were at selling records, until their breakthrough 1987 album The Joshua Tree, which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band’s stature “from heroes to superstars”. Reacting to musical stagnation and late-1980s criticism of their earnest image and musical direction, the group reinvented themselves with their 1991 hit album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour. U2 integrated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences into their sound and performances, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s with mixed levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour after their 2000 record All That You Can’t Leave Behind. On it and the group’s subsequent releases, they adopted a more conventional sound while maintaining influences from their earlier musical explorations.U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards,  and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time. They have also won numerous other awards in their career, including 22 Grammy awards, including those for Best Rock Duo or Group seven times, Album of the Year twice, Record of the Year twice, Song of the Year twice, and Best Rock Album twice.

U2 at Glastonbury 2011

 

Ad Rock (The Beastie Boys)

Beastie Boys Studio PortraitAd Rock from tha Beastie Boys was born 31 october 1966 The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. the group consisted of three MCs and musicians Michael “Mike D” Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam “MCA” Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (vocals, guitar).Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band in 1981 by Michael Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Adam Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, before recording their first EP Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop 12-inch “Cooky Puss”, the group transitioned to hip hop in 1984 and released a string of successful 12-inch singles.The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill. The group sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide, making them, according to Billboard, “the biggest-selling rap group” since 1991.With seven platinum or better albums from 1986–2004, the Beastie Boys were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide, and they continued to enjoy commercial and critical success more than 25 years after Licensed to Ill. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in 2011, and received positive reviews. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, “just the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. (2009) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007).”  Sadly The following month, MCA died of cancer of the parotid salivary gland, which led to the speculation that the other members may decide to disband the group

PAUL ‘S BOUTIQUE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PzYNMO6sFnE

Ill COMMUNICATION http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VXz5FM4dN24

 

Tribute to John Keats

English Romantic poet John Keats was born 31 October 1795. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work only having been in publication for four years before his death. Although his poems were not generally well received by critics during his life, his reputation grew after his death, so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. He had a significant influence on a diverse range of poets and writers. Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats was the most significant literary experience of his life. The poetry of Keats is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analysed in English literature.His parents were unable to afford Eton or Harrow,] so in the summer of 1803 he was sent to board at John Clarke’s school in Enfield, close to his grandparents’ house. The small school had a liberal outlook and a progressive curriculum more modern than the larger, more prestigious schools In the family atmosphere at Clarke’s, Keats developed an interest in classics and history, which would stay with him throughout his short life. The headmaster’s son, Charles Cowden Clarke, also became an important mentor and friend, introducing Keats to Renaissance literature, including Tasso, Spenser, and Chapman’s translations. The young Keats has been described as a volatile character, “always in extremes”, given to indolence and fighting. However, at 13 he began focusing his energy on reading and study, winning his first academic prize in midsummer 1809.

In April 1804, when Keats was eight, his father died. From 1814 Keats had two bequests held in trust for him until his 21st birthday: £800 willed by his grandfather John Jennings (about £34,000 in today’s money) and a portion of his mother’s legacy, £8000 (about £340,000 today), to be equally divided between her living children. Money was always a great concern and difficulty for him, as he struggled to stay out of debt and make his way in the world independently.Having finished his apprenticeship with Hammond, Keats registered as a medical student at Guy’s Hospital ( King’s College London) and began  in October 1815. Within a month of starting, he was accepted as a dresser at the hospital, assisting surgeons during operations, the equivalent of a junior house surgeon today. It was a significant promotion that marked a distinct aptitude for medicine; it brought greater responsibility and a heavier workload. Keats’s long and expensive medical training with Hammond and at Guy’s Hospital led his family to assume he would pursue a lifelong career in medicine, assuring financial security,  He lodged near the hospital at 28 St Thomas’s Street in Southwark, with Henry Stephens who became a famous inventor and ink magnate. However, Keats increasingly encroached on his writing time, and he grew ambivalent about his medical career. He felt that he faced a stark choice .

He wrote , “An Imitation of Spenser,” in 1814, when he was 19 and was inspired by fellow poets such as Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron, but beleaguered by family financial crises, he suffered periods of depression. In 1816, Keats received his apothecary’s licence, which made him eligible to practise as an apothecary, physician, and surgeon, but before the end of the year he announced to his guardia4n that he was resolved to be a poet, not a surgeon]Although he continued his work and training at Guy’s, Keats devoted more and more time to the study of literature, experimenting with verse forms, particularly the sonnet In May 1816, Leigh Hunt agreed to publish the sonnet “O Solitude” in his magazine TheExaminer, a leading liberal magazine of the day. It was the first appearance in print of Keats’s poetry, and Charles Cowden Clarkedescribed it as his friend’s red letter day the first proof that Keats’s ambitions were valid. In the summer of the same year Keats went with Clarke to the seaside town of Margate to write. There he began “Calidore” and initiated the era of his great letter writing. On his return to London he took lodgings at 8 Dean Street, Southwark, and braced himself for further study in order to become a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.]In October, Clarke introduced Keats to the influential Leigh Hunt, a close friend of Byron and Shelley. Five months later came the publication of Poems, the first volume of Keats’s verse, which included “I stood tiptoe” and “Sleep and Poetry,” both strongly influenced by Hunt. The book was a critical failure, arousing little interest, although Reynolds reviewed it favourably in The Champion. Clarke commented that the book “might have emerged in Timbuctoo.” Keats’s publishers, Charles and James Ollier, felt ashamed of the book. Keats immediately changed publishers to Taylor and Hessey on Fleet Street.Unlike the Olliers, Keats’s new publishers were enthusiastic about his work.

Within a month of the publication of Poems they were planning a new Keats volume and had paid him an advance. Hessey became a steady friend to Keats and made the company’s rooms available for young writers to meet. Their publishing lists eventually included Coleridge, Hazlitt, Clare, Hogg, Carlyle and Lamb.Through Taylor and Hessey, Keats met their Eton-educated lawyer, Richard Woodhouse, who advised them on literary as well as legal matters and was deeply impressed by Poems. and supporten him as he became one of England’s greatest writers. Soon after they met, the two became close friends, and Woodhouse started to collect Keatsiana, documenting as much as he could about Keats’s poetry. This archive survives as one of the main sources of information on Keats’s work. One of Keats’s biographers represents him as Boswell to Keats’ Johnson, ceaselessly promoting the writer’s work, fighting his corner, and spurring his poetry to greater heights. In later years, Woodhouse was one of the few people to accompany Keats to Gravesend to embark on his final trip to Rome. Hunt published the essay “Three Young Poets”  and the sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” foreseeing great things to come. He introduced Keats to  the editor of The Times, Thomas Barnes; the writer Charles Lamb; the conductor Vincent Novello; poet John Hamilton Reynolds, and William Hazlitt, a powerful literary figure of the day. It was a decisive turning point for Keats, establishing him in the public eye Keats befriended Isabella Jones in May 1817, while on holiday in the village of Bo Peep, near Hastings. She is described as beautiful, talented and widely read, not of the top flight of society yet financially secure, an enigmatic figure who would become a part of Keats’s circle .

In early December, Keats told Abbey that he had decided to give up medicine in favour of poetry, to Abbey’s fury. Having left his training at the hospital,  Keats moved with his brothers into rooms at 1 Well Walk in the village of Hampstead in April 1817. Both John and George nursed their brother Tom, who was suffering from tuberculosis. The house was close to Hunt and others from his circle in Hampstead, as well as to Coleridge, respected elder of the first wave of Romantic poets, at that time living in Highgate.   Around this time he was introduced to Charles Wentworth Dilke and James RiceIn June 1818, Keats began a walking tour of Scotland, Ireland, and the Lake District with his friend Charles Armitage Brown. Keats’ brother George and his wife Georgina accompanied them as far as Lancaster and then continued to Liverpool, from where the couple emigrated to America. They lived in Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky, until 1841, . Like Keats’ other brother, they both died penniless and racked by tuberculosis,  In July, while on the Isle of Mull, Keats caught a bad cold  After his return south in August, Keats continued to nurse Tom, exposing himself to infection. ”  Tom Keats died on 1 December 1818.John Keats moved to the newly built Wentworth Place, owned by his friend Charles Armitage Brown. It was also on the edge of Hampstead Heath, ten minutes’ walk south of his old home in Well Walk.During  The winter of 1818–19, he wrote his most mature work. inspired by a series of recent lectures by Hazlitt on English poets and poetic identity and had also met Wordsworth

He composed five of his six great odes at Wentworth Place ,lnduding “Ode to Psyche” and “Ode to a Nightingale”. Brown wrote, “In the spring of 1819 a nightingale had built her nest near my house. Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song; and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass-plot under a plum-tree, where he sat for two or three hours.”Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode on Melancholy” were inspired by sonnet forms Keats’s publishers  issued Endymion, which Keats dedicated to Thomas Chatterton, a work that he termed “a trial of my Powers of Imagination”.In 1819, Keats wrote The Eve of St. Agnes, “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, Hyperion, Lamia and OthoThe poems “Fancy” and “Bards of passion and of mirth” were inspired by the garden of Wentworth Place] The final volume Keats lived to see, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, was eventually published in July 1820. It received greater acclaim than had Endymion or Poems, Wentworth Place now houses the Keats House museum. Keats endured great conflict knowing his expectations as a struggling poet in increasingly hard straits would preclude marriage to Fanny Brawne. . Darkness, disease and depression surrounded him, reflected in poems such as The Eve of St. Agnes and “La Belle Dame sans Merci”. . During 1820 Keats displayed increasingly serious symptoms of tuberculosis, suffering two lung haemorrhages in the first few days of February lost large amounts of blood and was bled further by the attending physicianand So he was advised by his doctors to move to a warmer climate

So he agreed to move to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn. On 13 September, they left for Gravesend and four days later boarded the sailing brig “Maria Crowther”, where he made the final revisions of “Bright Star”. The journey was a minor catastrophe: storms broke out followed by a dead calm that slowed the ship’s progress. When they finally docked in Naples, the ship was held in quarantine for ten days due to a suspected outbreak of cholera in Britain. Keats reached Rome on 14 November, by which time any hope of the warmer climate he sought had disappeared. Keats wrote his last letter on 30 November 1820 to Charles Armitage Brown.

on arrival in Italy, he moved into a villa on the Spanish Steps in Rome, today the Keats-Shelley Memorial House museum. D

espite care from Severn and Dr. James Clark, his health rapidly deteriorated. The medical attention Keats received may have hastened his death. ln November 1820, Clark declared that the source of his illness was “mental exertion” and that the source was largely situated in his stomach. Clark eventually diagnosed consumption (tuberculosis) and placed Keats on a starvation diet of an anchovy and a piece of bread a day intended to reduce the blood flow to his stomach. He also bled the poet; a standard treatment of the day, but was likely a significant contributor to Keats’s weakness.”.The first months of 1821 marked a slow and steady decline into the final stage of tuberculosis. Keats was coughing up blood and covered in sweat.

John Keats died in Rome on 23 February 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.” Seven weeks after the funeral Shelley memorialised Keats in his poem Adonaïs Clark saw to the planting of daisies on the grave, saying that Keats would have wished it. For public health reasons, the Italian health authorities burned the furniture in Keats’s room, scraped the walls, made new windows, doors and flooring. The ashes of Shelley, one of Keats’s most fervent champions, are buried in the cemetery and Joseph Severn is buried next to Keats. When Keats died at 25, he had been writing poetry seriously for only about six years, from 1814 until the summer of 1820; and publishing for only four. In his lifetime, sales of Keats’s three volumes of poetry probably amounted to only 200 copies. T

he compression of his poetic apprenticeship and maturity into so short a time is just one remarkable aspect of Keats’s work. Although prolific during his short career, and now one of the most studied and admired British poets, his reputation rests on a small body of work, centred on the Odes, and only in the creative outpouring of the last years of his short life was he able to express the inner intensity for which he has been lauded since his death “Keats’s ability and talent was acknowledged by several influential contemporary allies such as Shelley and Hunt.His admirers praised him & for having developed a style which was more heavily loaded with sensualities, more gorgeous in its effects, more voluptuously alive than any poet who had come before him.

The 2009 film Bright Star, written and directed by Jane Campion, focuses on Keats’ relationship with Fanny Brawne