Autograph letter signed : Winchester, to George and Georgiana Keats, [1819] Sept. [17-27].

Record ID: 
Accession number: 
MA 212
Keats, John, 1795-1821.
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909.
1 item (28 p.), unbound ; 24.7 cm

Contains drafts of the following: "Acrostic" (Georgiana Augusta Keats); "The Eve of St. Mark"; "A Party of Lovers" (described by Keats as "a few nonsense verses"); "Staffa"; and "An Imitation of the Authors in Chaucer's Time."
The signature to this letter was cut out by Mrs. Philip Speed (daughter of George Keats) and given to Dr. Theodore S. Bell who left it to his great granddaughter, Miss M.E. Boyd of Louisville, Ky. It was purchased by Mr. Arthur Houghton, Jr., who presented it to the Morgan Library in May 1941.


Noting that he came to Winchester "for the convenience of a library"; discussing business matters; saying that "were it not for the assistance of Brown & Taylor [he] must be as badly off as a Man can be"; mentioning his endeavors to sell his writing; commenting on his brother's business misfortunes with [John James] Audubon and noting that he does not think George "fit to deal with the world, or at least the American world"; mentioning shared acquaintances; saying that "nothing strikes [him] so forcibly with a sense of the ridiculous as love"; telling him that he has been working on a poem called "Lamia"; quoting from [Robert] Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy; mentioning Byron's Don Juan; discussing English history and politics; recopying letters written from Scotland that were returned to him because George had already sailed for America; describing his travels in Scotland; criticizing the "cowardliness" of the Edinburgh Review; describing Winchester; noting that [Joseph] Severn "has got a little Baby"; discussing their finances and future prospects for money; reporting that he is learning Italian and reading [Lodovico] Ariosto; mentioning [John] Milton and [Thomas] Chatterton; saying that he hopes [Edmund] Kean will stay in England to play in a tragedy he has written.

Housed in: 
Blue cloth drop-spine box (27.1 cm)
John Gilmer Speed; bookplate of Louis I. Haber; purchased by Pierpont Morgan from the New York dealer George H. Richmond, 1909.