Privileging the Celtic

  • Christine Gallant


The context of Keats’s final great faerie works, Lamia and The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, was the mounting pressure of practical exigency on all sides. The continuing problem of securing remittances from Abbey, the guardian of the Keats estate, grew worse as it became clear to Abbey that when Keats decided to forego the profession of apothecary for that of poet, he was not assuring himself of a steady or even intermittent income. At various times, Abbey counseled him to be a hat-maker, bookseller, and tea-broker.1 The possibility of any marriage to Fanny Brawne depended upon his ability to support her. And then, of course, there were the constant reminders of his worsening health, although the definitive hemorrhage of arterial blood that he termed “my death-warrant” did not occur until 3 February 1820.2


Paradise Lost Spring Equinox Human Lover Prince Regent Historical Play 
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  1. 14.
    Jack Stillinger, “The ‘Story’ of Keats,” in The Cambridge Companion to Keats, ed. Wolfson, p. 254.Google Scholar
  2. 66.
    Fiona J. Stafford, The Last of the Race: The Growth of a Myth from Milton to Darwin, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 79.
    For a thorough discussion of these essential qualities of the court jester, both in Europe and in China, see Beatrice K. Otto, Fools are Everywhere: The Court Jester Around the World, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2001. There is also a fairly common motif in folk-literature that associates poets and fools (Motif P427., Poets and fools closely allied).Google Scholar
  4. 82.
    Gittings thinks that this persona is a satire on Keats’s contemporary “blue-stockings” (p. 372); as does Ralph Pite, “The Cap and Bells; or, the Jealousies: Satire, Irony and Parody”, Romanticism, Vol. 2.1 (March 1996), p. 75; and Motion, p. 483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Christine Gallant 2005

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  • Christine Gallant

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