Keats's Places pp 157-179 | Cite as

Poetic Genealogies: Keats’s Northern Walking Tour

  • Meiko O’HalloranEmail author


Meiko O’Halloran considers Keats’s 1818 northern walking tour from Cumbria to Scotland as a microcosm of his poetic development at a pivotal moment in his career. Leaving his pastoral poetry behind, Keats began to look both physically and metaphorically towards the landscape of the epic. O’Halloran places the walking tour in the context of Keats’s disappointment at finding Wordsworth out when he visited Rydal Mount, an anti-climax made worse by reports of the older poet’s political activity for the Tories in the Westmorland elections. A second disappointing visit to the home of a poet, Burns’s cottage in Alloway, shows us Keats overwhelmed by another writer’s misery and destitution. These two ‘absent’ encounters, O’Halloran suggests provocatively, forced Keats to reflect on his own path in the run-up to his attempts to write the epic fragment, Hyperion, begun that autumn.


Poetic Genealogy Epic Fragment Lycidas Hyperion Poems Pleasant Wonders 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English Literature, Language and LinguisticsNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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