There’s an open-air exhibition at the moment to commemorate the bicentenary of the death, at just 25 of one of Britain’s best-known poets, John Keats.
The outdoor display, tells Keats’s story from his birth in Moorgate, London, through his education in Enfield followed by medical training in Edmonton and at Guy’s Hospital, to his decision to give up a career in medicine and move to Wentworth Place, now the Keats House museum in Hampstead, to follow the life of a poet.
In 1819, Keats experienced a year of remarkable creativity, but just one year later he became ill with consumption and left for Italy to improve his health, but died in Rome in February 1821.
He didn’t live long enough to be famous in his lifetime, and much of his fame owes its existence to his friends who worked to create a legacy for the poet. Although he only published three books in his lifetime, he was a prolific letter writer and that forms the basis of the Keats archive today.
Now, 200 years after his death, a display in Aldgate Square looks at both his work, and his legacy. It tells the story of the man and his work, but also of the efforts a century ago to save his Hampstead house from being demolished.
The exhibition is free, as it’s outdoors in Aldgate Square and will be there until the end of this month.