Dr Lucasta Miller is a critic and biographer with a particular interest in finding new ways to approach literary lives. She is the author of The Bronte Myth and of L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Mysterious Death of the Female Byron. Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph is her most recent book. A former writer on the Guardian, she currently reviews for The Spectator and the TLS and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute in London.
In the wake of his tragic early death at 25, Keats was portrayed by his fellow poet Shelley as an ethereal frail flower. This lecture will look beneath the myth to reveal the real Keats, body and soul, in all his energy, vitality and complexity. It will explore how aspects of his life and personality – from his early medical training to his conflicted attitude to women – contributed to his poetic voice, and it will remind us quite how innovative that voice was at the time he first published.