This book offers an exciting reassessment of Keats with particular emphasis on gender identity and sexuality. Traditionally, Keats has been more readily associated with the 'feminine' than any other canonical male English poet. This feminization was always likely, given his tragically early death and the mythologizing which took place soon after. In contrast, John Whale explores Keats's writings from the perspective of masculinity and gender by placing them in the context of contemporary friendship groupings and coterie relationships.
Whale addresses all the major poems and gives due prominence to the letters. In so doing, he offers a new understanding of Keats's exploration of poetry, gender and desire, and provides an extended analysis of Keats's quest for poetic fame in the face of the often conflicting forces of love and sexuality.
Clear, concise and insightful, this is an essential guide to one of the best-known Romantic poets.
JOHN WHALE is Professor of Romantic Literature at the University of Leeds. He is a former president of The British Association for Romantic Studies and his publications include Imagination under Pressure 1789-1832, Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France and Beyond Romanticism: New Approaches to Texts and Contexts 1780-1832 (with Stephen Copley).