John Keats Essay

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John Keats Biography John Keats was born on October 31, 1795, on the northern outskirts of London. His father was Thomas Keats, manager of the Swan and Hoop, a livery stable, and his mother was Frances Jennings, the daughter of the proprietor of the stables. In 1803, Keats entered John Clarke's school in Enfield, about ten miles from London. Clarke was a liberal and his influence may have contributed to Keats' political development. The school, surprisingly, had a wider curriculum than such prestigious public schools as Eton. There were about seventy-five boys in attendance. Its rural location may have fostered Keats' love of nature. John was popular with the other boys and won a reputation as an able fighter, in spite of his small size, but was not outstanding as a scholar. On April 15, 1804, John's father was thrown from a horse and died from a skull fracture. His mother then married a bank clerk whom she soon left. Her second husband sold the stables and the four Keats children were left without a home. In March 1805, John's grandfather died, leaving the children without a male protector. The mother seems to have dropped out of their lives, and so their grandmother, Mrs. Jennings, took them into her house. Their mother reappeared in 1808, but died of tuberculosis in 1810. After his mother's death, Keats developed a love of reading, including the thrillers popular in his time. In his last two or three terms at Enfield he won several prizes and even began a prose translation of Virgil's Aeneid. At this time he made a friend of Cowden Clarke, eight years his senior, who had been his tutor in his first years at Enfield. Clarke was instrumental in fostering a love of music and poetry in Keats. Possibly because he had watched his mother die, Keats decided to become a doctor and, in 1811, when he reached the age of sixteen, he was apprenticed to

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