Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Keats Letter Goes Up For Auction

Do you feel the need to spend copious amounts on poetic artifacts? That's what I thought! Read on!

John Keats was engaged to one Fanny Brawne for three years. The engagement was terminated when he died in 1821. A good reason to be jilted, I suppose.

Fanny Brawne, 1833

Keats wrote letters to Brawne while he was dying of tuberculosis. And a certain one of these letters he kissed--since he could not kiss dear Fanny without infecting her. And you can now own that letter, which the lips of Keats have touched!

This letter is being auctioned by the collector and poet Roy Davids. It has an estimated value of £120,000.

Davids said, "To own a manuscript by Keats is really the closest you can get to him both physically and mentally. In some degree it is an act of worship."

Here's the letter, written in 1820:

My dearest Fanny

The power of your benediction is not of so weak a nature as to pass from the ring in four and twenty hours - it is like a sacred Chalice once consecrated and ever consecrate. I shall Kiss your name and mine where your Lips have been - Lips! why should such a poor prisoner as I am talk about such things. Thank God, though I hold them the dearest pleasures in the universe, I have a consolation independent of them in the certainty of your affectation. I could write a song in the style of Tom Moores Pathetic about Memory if that would be any relief to me. No. It would not be. I will be as obstinate as a Robin, I will not sing in a cage. Health is my expected heaven and you are the Houri - this word I believe is both singular and plural - if only plural never mind - you are a thousand of them.

Ever yours affectionately my dearest, j.k

1 comment:

  1. Ooo! I just watched a (kind of bad) movie about their romance.