Introduction

In a letter to his brother George in the autumn of 1818, John Keats wrote, “Mrs Brawne…still resides in Hampstead…her daughter senior is I think beautiful and elegant, graceful, silly, fashionable and strange we have a little tiff now and then.” The daughter who caught Keats’s attention was Fanny Brawne, Keats’s neighbor. Keats and Brawne soon fell in love, and their star-crossed relationship, thwarted by Keats’s death in 1821, inspired many of Keats’s most well-known poems, including “Bright Star,” “The Eve of St. Agnes,” and “Ode to a Nightingale.”

Displayed in this exhibition are items from the Harvard Keats Collection, including a number of Keats’s love letters to Brawne, in addition to images of places and objects associated with the couple. More information on the Harvard Keats Collection can befound on the Houghton website.

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