2 June 2004
KEATS, John (1795-1821). Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. London: Taylor and Hessey, 1820.
12° (180 x 107mm). No advertisements at end. (Quire D with soiling at margins, E8 with small segment torn from outer margin.) Uncut in original drab boards with paper spine label (label rubbed with loss of letters 'AB' in 'ISABELLA,' 'E' in 'Ec.', and 's' in '7s. 6d.', joints lightly rubbed, some wear to corners); 20th-century morocco-backed blue cloth case with chemise.
FIRST EDITION. Keats's third and final volume of poetry was published about 1 July 1820, when he was seriosuly ill and soon to depart for Italy. It 'was more widely reviewed than the other two combined, and nearly all opinions were friendly, if somewhat less than enthusiastic.' Like his friends, the poet believed that his ambitions had been unrealised, and he asked Severn to leave his grave unmarked except for the words: 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water.' Leigh Hunt's copy of the book was found in Shelley's pocket after his death and burned with his corpse. Ashley III, p. 15; Hayward 233; MacGillivray 3.
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