Keats Northern Walking Tour June 25-August 6, 1818
Background • Keats was 22 when he accepted Charles Brown’s invitation to undertake a walking tour of approximately 2000 miles through northern England and Scotland, with a diversion to northern Ireland. • Keats letters and poems of the 1818 walking tour were intended to entertain his brothers and friends. • Part of a tradition of travel writing started by Samuel Johnson and Boswell who wrote a guide book about their travels to Scotland. • Popularity of travel literature at this time
Background • Keats’s journey was defined in part by what he had read and heard about the places he was visiting • The journey falls into essentially two episodes: the visit to the Lake District and the visits to Scotland and briefly Ireland. • Relationship between the tour and Keats’s conception of himself as a poet. He saw the tour as essential to his development as a poet.
Dumfries: St. Michael’s Churchyard Burns Mausoleum (Keats wrote “This mortal body” here)
Alloway Robert Burns Cottage(Keats wrote “This mortal body of a thousand days here)
Epilogue • Keats was back in London by August 18. • He returned early because he was ill. • He found his brother Tom critically ill and took care of him until he died in December. • Keats began writing “Hyperion.”