Upcoming Event

Virtual Event: Lucasta Miller

presents

Keats:
A Brief Life in Nine Poems
and One Epitaph

Date

May
31
Tuesday
May 31, 2022
6:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes LUCASTA MILLER—British critic and historian of 19th-century literature—for a discussion of her new book Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph.

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About Keats

In this brief life, acclaimed biographer Lucasta Miller takes nine of Keats's best-known poems—"Endymion"; "On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer"; "Ode to a Nightingale"; "To Autumn"; "Bright Star" among them—and excavates how they came to be and what in Keats's life led to their creation. She writes of aspects of Keats's life that have been overlooked, and explores his imagination in the context of his world and experience, paying tribute to the unique quality of his mind.

Miller, through Keats’s poetry, brilliantly resurrects and brings vividly to life, the man, the poet in all his complexity and spirit, living dangerously, disdaining respectability and cultural norms, and embracing subversive politics. Keats was a lower-middle-class outsider from a tragic and fractured family, whose extraordinary energy and love of language allowed him to pummel his way into the heart of English literature; a freethinker and a liberal at a time of repression, who delighted in the sensation of the moment.

We see how Keats was regarded by his contemporaries (his writing was seen as smutty) and how the young poet’s large and boisterous life—a man of the metropolis, who took drugs, was sexually reckless and afflicted with syphilis—went straight up against the Victorian moral grain; and Miller makes clear why his writing—considered marginal and avant-garde in his own day—retains its astonishing originality, sensuousness and power two centuries on.

Praise for Keats

“Miller disrobes the myth, while helping us to appreciate what she calls Keats's ‘vertiginous originality’. As a wittily perceptive introduction to (or reminder of) the poet and his work, her book is unlikely to be surpassed any time soon.” —Miranda Seymour, Financial Times

“Lucasta Miller's task, which she carries out very successfully, is to strip away what we think when we think about Keats . . . Miller is empathetic, and relishes Keats's best phrases.” —Philip Hensher, Spectator

“Miller's brilliant life of Keats, told through a close reading of ‘nine poems and one epitaph’, reminds us more than once of the way in which Keats can deploy Shakespearean techniques to stop us in our readerly tracks . . . timely and fresh . . . satisfying, engaging and accessible.”—Rowan Williams, New Statesman

Lucasta Miller
Lucasta Miller

Lucasta Miller

Dr. Lucasta Miller is a British critic and historian who has lectured and broadcast widely on 19th-century literature. Her influential afterlife study, The Bronte Myth, first published in 2001, was reissued in a new edition in 2020; her pioneering biography of the ‘female Byron’ Letitia Landon was shortlisted for the NBCC awards in 2019. She has worked as a profile-writer for the Guardian and contributed to the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph and the BBC. A former visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, she is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute and reviews for The Spectator.

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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