THE POETRY of John Keats is often discussed in terms of the poet's appreciation of beauty and sensuousness, but a new book by a Galway academic argues there is more to the man's work than that.
Revolutionary Romanticism - Examining The Odes of John Keats, the second book by Dr Jenny Farrell of the Department of Languages & Humanities, GMIT, challenges traditional and established readings of Keats' work and discusses what his odes say about early 19th century England.
While the French Revolution unleashed challenging social and political ideals, Britain and other European states responded by seeking to curb the Revolutions's influence on their populances. Similarly, the European arts respond with a withdrawal from social engagement.
However, revolutionary English and Scottish Romanticism expressed radical self-criticism of post-revolutionary, and early industrial, capitalist society. Keats belonged to this generation of Romantics, as Dr Farrell argues in her book. Keats’s affirmation of the central importance of beauty expresses his vision of a society, where nature and humankind are at one, as the true home for the human being.
Revolutionary Romanticism is available from Charlie Byrnes, Kenny’s, and online.