Research Seminar – 20th March

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For our next Nineteenth-Century Centre visiting speaker seminar series we’re fortunate to have Professor Andrew Bennett (Bristol) sharing his research on Keats’s love letters. Andrew Bennett has been one of the best readers of Romanticism and poetry for many years, so it promises to be a great evening. Do join us for what I’m sure will be a fascinating paper and discussion, and spread the word to others who you think might be interested in coming along. Further details below, including the Zoom link for those unable to attend in person.
                    Wednesday 20th March, 5-7pm, Arts Building, Room 104

                        How to Write a Love Letter: John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Andrew Bennett

University of Bristol

This paper will examine some of the 39 surviving letters from Keats to his lover, Fanny Brawne. Controversial on first publication in 1878, with Matthew Arnold declaring that they ‘ought never to have been published’, Keats’s love letters have caused a degree of unease ever since. His often distinctly fraught and sometimes emotionally coercive letters and notes to Fanny mostly date from the summer and early autumn of 1819, when he was away from London on a writing retreat, and from February to March 1820, when he was living right next door to the Brawne family at Wentworth Place in Hampstead but was often too unwell to see her. I will explore the ways in which a letter can distance writer and recipient as much as bring them together, and I will consider Keats’s deployment of literature in the letters as itself a distancing strategy. In the end, the paper is concerned with what Keats learned from his reading about how to write – and how not to write – a love letter.

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Meeting ID: 830 3440 6768
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