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Walking North with Keats

by Carol Kyros Walker

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In the summer of 1818, John Keats and his friend, Charles Brown, headed north to Scotland on a walking tour to visit Burns country and the rugged, Romantic landscape beyond. They planned a route that would first take them through Northern England, the Lake District and Wordsworth country. Their goal was to reach John o'Groats and return by way of Perthshire. This journey came at a time when Keats rejected a career of medicine, having practiced as a surgeon at Guys Hospital, and resolved to devote himself solely to writing poetry. The journey was to be a "Prologue" to his reimagined life. Keats's letters offer an affecting narrative thread of his relations to his siblings--George, who was emigrating to America with his new bride; Fanny, the youngest, who was in the care of an unfriendly guardian; and most of all Tom, alone in Hampstead, dying of consumption. Keats never made it to John o'Groats. The serious sore throat contracted on the Isle of Mull forced him to return to London where his first task on return was tending to Tom. Capturing the landscapes, landmarks, poetry and letters of Keats's epic walk, Carol Kyros Walker retraced Keats's footsteps originally in 1978-1979 and again in the autumns of 2015 and 2016 allowing readers to 'walk' alongside him. This updated edition documents photographically both the original and the later journeys, reassessing the cultural picture of Scotland, and providing an intimate glimpse into Keats's life, friendship and family ties.… (more)
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Three books in one. Book one is a roughly 50-page literary history of John Keats surrounding his 40 day tour to Scotland, where he contracted TB and died of it a few years later at a young age. Book two is a roughly 100-page photo art book in which Carol Walker re-traces his footsteps taking beautiful shots along the way with relevant quotes beneath the pictures. Book 3 are Keat's actual travel notes - they are letter form and were never intended for publication but are presented in heavily footnoted format.

This is the third Carol Walker book I've read and they are all of similar quality and scope. I think this is the 2nd best (Dorothy Wordsworth being the best) - very enjoyable series (and very affordable). ( )
  Stbalbach | Sep 29, 2006 |
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In the summer of 1818, John Keats and his friend, Charles Brown, headed north to Scotland on a walking tour to visit Burns country and the rugged, Romantic landscape beyond. They planned a route that would first take them through Northern England, the Lake District and Wordsworth country. Their goal was to reach John o'Groats and return by way of Perthshire. This journey came at a time when Keats rejected a career of medicine, having practiced as a surgeon at Guys Hospital, and resolved to devote himself solely to writing poetry. The journey was to be a "Prologue" to his reimagined life. Keats's letters offer an affecting narrative thread of his relations to his siblings--George, who was emigrating to America with his new bride; Fanny, the youngest, who was in the care of an unfriendly guardian; and most of all Tom, alone in Hampstead, dying of consumption. Keats never made it to John o'Groats. The serious sore throat contracted on the Isle of Mull forced him to return to London where his first task on return was tending to Tom. Capturing the landscapes, landmarks, poetry and letters of Keats's epic walk, Carol Kyros Walker retraced Keats's footsteps originally in 1978-1979 and again in the autumns of 2015 and 2016 allowing readers to 'walk' alongside him. This updated edition documents photographically both the original and the later journeys, reassessing the cultural picture of Scotland, and providing an intimate glimpse into Keats's life, friendship and family ties.

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