A Romantic Setting for a Romantic Poet: Keats in HampsteadDate: 16 July 2009
This summer (from 24 July to 9 August) Keats House in Hampstead plays host to a drama about the love life of its most famous resident. Adapted from the letters and poetry of John Keats, Keats in Hampstead tells the story of the Romantic poet’s love affair with his neighbour Fanny Brawne.
Keats lived in the Hampstead cottage (then known as Wentworth Place) from 1818 to 1820, writing some of his most memorable poetry during this period, including “Ode to a Nightingale”. It was directly after his time in Hampstead that Keats travelled to Rome, where he died of tuberculosis at just 25 years-old.
When Keats’s letters to Brawne came to light after her death in 1865 their intimate and candid contents caused a great scandal. None of Brawne’s letters to Keats survived unfortunately but those she wrote to the poet’s sister immediately following his departure for Rome are a testament to her devotion.
The show’s initial run, which took place at Keats House in 2007, earned it some strong reviews and now Keats in Hampstead returns to the historic site as part of its post-refurbishment grand opening events. The show takes place in the garden and audience members are encouraged to bring picnics. Included in the ticket price is entrance to the Keats House museum, which features relics, letters, books and manuscripts.