Letter #108: To Benjamin Robert Haydon, 20 December 1818

We know that Keats got himself in a bit of a sticky situation regarding Christmas invites (see his letter to Charlotte Reynolds from a few days back). Today’s letter involves another declined invitations, but it seems this one was rather easier for Keats to get out off. This letter to Haydon involves just a few lines in which Keats explains that he “had an engagement today,” and as such, he would not be able to dine with Haydon. He promises to do so the next day when, he tells Haydon, “we will hate the profane vulgar & make us Wings.” One hopes that they enjoyed their flights of fancy that day!

Text of the letter can be read via Forman’s 1901 edition of Keats’s complete works (where he has the letter dated as 2 January 1819). Images of the manuscript below come courtesy of Houghton Library at Harvard.

Keats’s 20 December 1818 letter to Benjamin Robert Haydon. Keats Collection, 1814-1891 (MS Keats 1.42). Houghton Library, Harvard University.