Amy Lowell, Keats Collector

In February 1921, the Boston poet Amy Lowell (1874–1925)—Greene’s friend and the preeminent American collector of Keatsiana—was due to give a talk at Yale to mark the centenary of Keats’s death. In preparation for her talk, she contacted Belle Greene on February 3 to arrange a visit to the Library, where she wished to consult “not only the ‘Endymion’ etc., but the communication from Woodhouse to Taylor, and things of that sort.” At the time Lowell was working on a major new biography of John Keats, which for the first time drew prominently on manuscript material in American collections, primarily her own and Morgan’s. (Lowell would leave her collection to Harvard, which now holds the largest collection of Keats manuscripts in the world.) Though Sidney Colvin had briefly touched upon items at the Morgan for his 1917 Keats biography, Amy Lowell would be the first scholar to seriously study this material. Her knowledge of the collection’s depth—which, as she recognized, extended well beyond the famous Endymion manuscript—is emblematic of her meticulous research into archival sources about Keats.

Amy Lowell, typed letter to Belle da Costa Greene, 3 February 1921. MA 4098. Archives of the Morgan Library & Museum.