This book offers the intelligent new reader a critically evaluative guide to Keats's major poems and letters, from a perspective which aims to counter the historicist emphasis of recent critical work.
This book presents an evaluative critical account of all of Keats's important poetry.
The arrangement is chronological, and the development of Keats's style and thematic preoccupations is set in the context of the unfolding of his brief but intense personal life.
The ambition is to present the intelligent reader, who is relatively new to the study of Keats, with an informative guide which includes discussion of all of the principal events and contexts in which Keats is read today.
There is no detailed overview of recent critical debate, but the book does develop an argument that Keats was a writer deeply concerned with history, in the social and political sense, but also in the senses of personal and literary development.
But in contrast with the main emphasis of much recent criticism, the argument here is that Keats's engagement with history took the characteristic form of an effort to represent modes of experience outside history, and indeed outside time itself.