A Thing of Beauty Is A Joy Forever: The Life and Poetry of John Keats with Hilary Bockham

A Thing of Beauty Is A Joy Forever: The Life and Poetry of John Keats with Hilary Bockham


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A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever - John Keats

When the young Londoner John Keats wrote these words as the first line of his epic poem Endymion he was savaged by the critics, one of whom accused him of writing “Cockney poetry; which may be defined to consist of the most incongruous ideas in the most uncouth language...' This kind of scathing reaction was simply snobbery at Keats' humble background. How dare he presume to contribute to the world of English Literature, which was previously the exclusive domain of the English elite? Join Hilary Bockham to explore his poetry and his tragic life.

Nevertheless, he continued in his calling to leave the world of medicine and, through his writing, do something that might change the world. He died of tuberculosis in Rome at only twenty-five years of age. His poetry is now universally acknowledged to be amongst the finest writing in the English language. Although his image is still of a pale, wistful, young, and doomed soul, he was actually playful, musical, and adored by his many friends. At the news of his death, Fanny Brawne, the young woman who had inspired his exquisite love poetry, cut off all her hair and went into years of deep mourning.

Led by an expert on art history, Hilary Bockham, this interactive seminar will explore the life and work of poet John Keats. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the fascinating way that the events of his life informed his poetry.

This conversation is part of a five-part series on the Romantic poets with Hilary Bockham. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a five-week series.

Hilary has been one of our experts for fifteen years. She was born in England, where she studied Art and Literature and began her career there as an art teacher. A few years later she followed her interest in fashion and costume and became an internationally successful fashion designer. She designed costumes for several international dance companies and was a guest lecturer at several UK Design Colleges. For ten years before her arrival in Italy in 2005, she ran her own Exhibition Services company, providing customized services for Art Galleries and Museums throughout Britain. She specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art in Rome.

This course is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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