Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats
Ode to a Nightingale,
handwritten by John Keats.
17'' x 13'' frame
Ode to a Nightingale: the manuscript of John Keats
Based on only a few years of writing, John Keats’ remarkable, worldwide literary reputation has lasted for over two centuries. Struck down by tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five, he left just fifty-four poems to posterity, which are still celebrated and studied today.
“If Poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree it had better not come at all”
In his lifetime, Keats was a lover of literature, mythology and the French language. Scarred by the successive deaths of his father, mother and grandmother, he took refuge in books and creativity. He became passionate about Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Virgil’s Aeneid, which he began translating while still at school. His discovery of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene around the age of eighteen moved him deeply and marked a turning point in his life. Keats was simply enchanted by the art of poetry.
In 1819, again bereaved by the death of one of his brothers, the poet composed a series of six odes that would have an everlasting impact on readers: Ode on Indolence, Ode on Melancholy, Ode to Psyche, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, and To Autumn. Having previously committed himself to a career as a surgeon and apothecary, Keats had given up his job at the hospital to devote himself to literature and at the time, he was staying with his friend Charles Armitage Brown, a businessman and author, in Hampstead in North London.
“Poetic feelings on the song of the nightingale”
Seen from the windows of his friend’s sitting room, the plum tree in the garden was the inspiration for Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, which was written hurriedly on two sheets of rough paper torn from a notebook. Charles Armitage Brown, who co-wrote a verse tragedy with Keats and was taking care of his health and material needs, later helped to establish his friend’s reputation after his death and recounted:
In the spring of 1819 a nightingale had built her nest near my house. Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song; and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass-plot under a plum-tree, where he sat for two or three hours. When he came into the house, I perceived he had some scraps of paper in his hand, and these he was quietly thrusting behind the books. On inquiry, I found those scraps, four or five in number, contained his poetic feelings on the song of the nightingale.
Ode to a Nightingale was first published in a review, then in the collection Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (July 1820).
Thanks to a new reproduction of the only full draft of Mrs. Dalloway, handwritten in three notebooks and initially titled “The Hours,” we now know that the story she completed — about a day in the life of a London housewife planning a dinner party — was a far cry from the one she’d set out to write (...)
Eric Karl Anderson (@lonesomereader) shares an enlightening
video about Mrs. Dalloway. Thank you!
The original hand-written manuscript of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is to be published for the first time, revealing numerous changes the author, pictured, made to one of her most famous works. (...)
Mrs Dalloway by Parisian publisher SP Books brings together Virginia Woolf's three handwritten notebooks in which she wrote the classic text in one luxury hand-bound edition. The volume represents a return to 'slow reading' in a digital age, offering an intimate insight into the wnter's mind and thought-process, and giving new life to a well-loved classic (...)
Virginia Woolf’s handwritten notebooks in which she penned Mrs Dalloway are being published as a facsimile manuscript for the first time by Parisian press SP Books. Her draft for the classic novel was written between June 1923 and October 1924. It reveals substantial editing, re-writing and corrections, including her original intention to have Mrs Dalloway commit suicide. (...)
The draft, which was penned in purple ink in three notebooks between June 1923 and October 1924, shows she changed the title from the original name The Hours and also altered the first sentence to eventually read: “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
It shows the pencil margin she drew on each page of the notebooks, in which she recorded the date, word count and personal memos and notes for her essays. (...)
The manuscript shows the pencil margin she drew on each page of the notebooks, in which she recorded the date, word count and personal memos and notes for her essays. (...)
The volume represents a return to ‘slow reading’ in a digital age, offering an intimate insight into the writer’s mind and thought-process, and giving new life to a well loved classic. (...)
A new edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway released in handwritten manuscript form for the first time by independent Parisian publishers SP Books. (...)
SP Books is publishing this month the first and only full-length draft of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, bringing together a facsimile manuscript of the three notebooks in which she drafted, edited, re-wrote and corrected the novel. (...)
SP Books, a Parisian publishing house specialising in the publication of classic manuscripts, has announced that it will publish the original handwritten manuscript of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. (...)