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Faery Lands Forlorn

  • Christine Gallant

Abstract

The only vestige of Celtic Druidism by the early nineteenth century, aside from the historical ruins and megaliths then believed to be Druidical in origin, was the old regional folklore of magic and the faerie. Druidism does not figure again in Keats’s poetry until The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream but this traditional folklore certainly does, in his great faerie poems of 1819: “The Eve of St. Agnes,” “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and Lamia. Several of his epistolary works of this period also involve the faerie, and throw a revealing complementary light upon these major works as does his very last poem, Cap and Bells; Or, The Jealousies: A Faery Tale. In all of them, we can see what attracted Keats so much to the faerie and its lore. This fascination ran deeper for him than merely being a part of his ideological commitment to Celticism.

Keywords

Full Moon Human World Evil Spirit Central Situation Future Husband 
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Notes

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    Six volumes of the seven-volume 1808 reprint of the 1623 folio edition were found posthumously in Keat’s library. He had taken the missing one with him when he left with Severn foe Italy, and gave it to Severn at the end in Italy. On Severn’s death it was sold, and the entire set eventually joined the library holdings of Princeton University. For a complete account of this, see Caroline F.E. Spurgeon, Keats’s Shakespeare: A Descriptive Study Based on New Material, London: Oxford University Press, 1929.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Christine Gallant 2005

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  • Christine Gallant

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