Letter #54: To John Hamilton Reynolds, 19 February 1818

Two letters to get to today, so we’ll spare you much of a long intro here. All you need to know (in addition to beauty being truth, truth beauty–duh) is that today’s letter to Reynolds is amazing. It’s easily his most lovely meditation on reading. Ok, there are other candidates. But this one definitely makes it into the top three or so. If you’ve never indulged in a bit of Keats’s “delicious diligent Indolence,” then go read this letter right now and do with it what he says you should do with “a certain Page of full Poesy or distilled Prose.”

Harry Buxton Forman’s 1895 edition provides us once again with today’s text. Read it and start weaving a tapestry empyrean of your own. Then check out Jeff Rients’ (Illinois State University) response to the letter, which revels diligently and deliciously in Keats’s luxurious model of reading.

Woodhouse transcript included below. The original MS (one of the only letters to Reynolds to survive in manuscript) is at Princeton. Once we get a digitized copy, we’ll share.

Page 1 of Woodhouse’s transcript of Keats’s 19 Feb 1818 letter to John Hamilton Reynolds. Keats Collection, 1814-1891 (MS Keats 3.3). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Page 2 of Woodhouse’s transcript of Keats’s 19 Feb 1818 letter to John Hamilton Reynolds. Keats Collection, 1814-1891 (MS Keats 3.3). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Page 3 of Woodhouse’s transcript of Keats’s 19 Feb 1818 letter to John Hamilton Reynolds. Keats Collection, 1814-1891 (MS Keats 3.3). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *