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English Literature Biographical Speech Keats John 1795-1821 English poet one of the most gifted and appealing of the 19th century and a seminal figure of the romantic movement Keats was born in London October 31 1795and was the eldest of four children His father was a livery-stable owner however he was killed in a riding accident when Keats was only nine and his mother died six years later of tuberculosis Keats was educated at the Clarke School in Enfield and at the age of 15 was apprenticed to a surgeon Subsequently from 1814 to 1816 Keats studied medicine in London hospitals in 1816 he became a licensed apothecary druggist but never practiced his profession deciding instead to be a poet Early Works Keats had already written a translation of Vergils Aeneid and some verse his first published poems 1816 were the sonnets Oh Solitude if I with Thee Must Dwell and On First Looking into Chapmans Homer Both poems appeared in the Examiner a literary periodical edited by the essayist and poet Leigh Hunt one of the champions of the romantic movement in English literature Hunt introduced Keats to a circle of literary men including the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley the groups influence enabled Keats to see his first volume published Poems by John Keats 1817 The principal poems in the volume were the sonnet on Chapmans Homer the sonnet To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent I Stood Tip-Toe upon a Little Hill and Sleep and Poetry which defended the principles of romanticism as promulgated by Hunt and attacked the practice of romanticism as represented by the poet George Gordon Lord Byron Keatss second volume Endymion was published in 1818 Based upon the myth of Endymion and the moon goddess it was attacked by two of the most influential critical magazines of the time the Quarterly Review and Blackwoods Magazine Calling the romantic verse of
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