Dear Messrs Taylor & Hessey – An Epistle from Amerigo Mackeral

A KLP Exclusive featuring Amerigo Mackeral
(via Aaron Howard)

RE: Keats’s 12/13 April 1817 letter to John Taylor and James Hessey

Not since Thomas Brown the Younger’s (technically, Thomas Moore’s) Intercepted Letters; or, the Two-Penny Post Bag (1813) has there been quite so exciting a discovery of a letter gone astray as the KLP presents today. We know that Keats’s letter to Taylor and Hessey was delivered by messenger (since there is no postage information on it), but what we didn’t know until today was that the messenger went to the wrong house! It was originally delivered to Amerigo Mackeral, an epistolary poet, musician, troubadour and more, who kindly forwarded Keats’s little scrap to the publishers Taylor and Hessey. Without further ado, here is Messr. Mackeral’s note explaining the mix-up!

Amerigo Mackeral to Messrs Taylor and Hessey. Origins unknown.

What a service Amerigo performed by preserving the letter and sending it to its proper destination. We can only hope as well that his sage advice to Taylor and Hessey was heeded. A scrappy and bereft Keats is no Keats that we want to see. Given Keats’s future successes with Taylor and Hessey, we imagine they must have listened to Amerigo’s good counsel and provided the young poet with plenty of paper. Good work, Amerigo!

Now the truly curious part of this tale is that Amerigo appears to be alive and well in the 21st century! You can read more of his epistles here. And you can even listen to performances of some of them here. The KLP does not argue with the spacetime continuum, but it does seem oddly accommodating in this case. We appreciate such warping of spacetime if it means that we learn more about Keats and his scrappy history.

**For this amazing scoop concerning Amerigo Mackeral and Messrs Taylor and Hessey, the KLP wishes to thank Aaron Howard, who makes art, music & words in brooklyn amongst his cats, plants & aquaria. Learn more about his work at oilcanpress.com. And in case you haven’t caught on, Aaron Howard makes art, music & words in the guise of the Amerigo Mackeral persona.**

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