Reviews‘John Keats’s Medical Notebook is an ingenious roadmap to conceptual issues in the teaching of Romantic medicine; its informed annotations and originality of research reveal the depth of Keats’s knowledge and comprehension of what he had learned in theoretical and practical medical science.’
Hermione de Almeida, Walter Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Tulsa
John Keats was a trained surgeon who studied at Guy’s Hospital, London while simultaneously making his way as a poet. This book focuses attention on an important but hitherto neglected Keats manuscript: the notebook he maintained during this period. Reconstructing the lively medical world that played a formative role in Keats’ intellectual and imaginative development, it seeks to show the intriguing connections between Keats’ medical knowledge and his greatest poetry. It offers new research on Keats’ medical career – including a new edition of his medical Notebook compiled from the manuscript – and recovers the various ways in which Keats’ creativity found expression in his two careers of medicine and poetry, enriching both. Topics explored include the ‘hospital poems’ Keats wrote at Guy’s; the medical milieu of his daily life; his methods of working as revealed by his medical Notebook and other archival sources; and the medical contexts that informed his composition of Endymion and the collection Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes, and Other Poems (1820).
John Keats’ Medical Notebook: Text, Context and Poems reveals how Keats’ visceral knowledge of human life, gained during his medical training at Guy’s, transformed him into ‘a mighty poet of the human heart’.