Essay on Keats: John Keats and Grandfather John Jennings

Submitted By Jakeo124
Words: 494
Pages: 2

John Keats had a short life of just 25 years. He was the eldest of his brother and sisters and his occupation was a poet. His father died when John was just 8 years old as he was trampled by a horse. After the death, John’s mother kept making mistakes and she had a second marriage in which also fell apart, she died when John was 15. His parent’s death affected his poems when he wrote them when he was older. During this period, he found comfort in art and literature and when he was at Enfield Academy he found friendship in the headmaster of the academy and he acted as a second father to John.

From 1814 Keats had two bequests held in trust for him until his 21st birthday: £800 willed by his grandfather John Jennings (about £34,000 in today's money) and a portion of his mother's legacy, £8000 (about £340,000 today), to be equally divided between her living children. It seems he was not told of either, since he never applied for any of the money. Historically, blame has often been laid on Abbey as legal guardian, but he may also have been unaware. Keats increasingly encroached on his writing time, and he grew ambivalent about his medical career. He felt that he faced a stark choice. He had written his first extant poem, "An Imitation of Spenser," in 1814, when he was 19. Now, strongly drawn by ambition, inspired by fellow poets such as Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron, and beleaguered by family financial crises, he suffered periods of depression.

During 1820 Keats displayed increasingly serious symptoms of tuberculosis in the first few days of February. He lost large amounts of blood and was bled further by the attending physician. Hunt nursed him in London for much of the following summer. At the suggestion of his doctors, he agreed to move to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn. On 13 September, they…