John Keats - Biography & Activities

Study the life and work of John Keats, one of the greatest 19th-century English poets. This resource includes biographical information about the poet and suggestions for classroom activities.
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Born: 31 October 1795
Died: 23 February 1821 (tuberculosis)
Birthplace: Near London, England
Best known as: Romantic poet who wrote "Ode to a Nightingale"
John Keats is considered one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century, the author of Romantic classics such as "Endymion" and "Ode to a Nightingale." Keats began his career as a surgeon's apprentice, but gave up medicine for literary pursuits in 1814. With the help of Percy Shelley, Keats published his first collection in 1817. His productive years between 1818 and 1820 yielded some of his best-known poems, including "Lamia," "the Eve of St. Agnes" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn." In 1821 he left England and went to Italy for health reasons, but died a few months later, leaving his epic poem "Hyperion" unfinished. In his short life he influenced many English poets, and his vivid imagery and sensual style later had an impact on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of painters that included Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Extra credit: Keats had a famously intense love affair with Fanny Brawne, to whom he was engaged but never married.

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Lesson Planning Resources:

Review poetry terms with your pupils.

From Read and discuss Keats's poems with your class. Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems
Unpublished Poems of John Keats

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