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dc.contributor.advisorStabler, Jane
dc.contributor.authorTheobald, John
dc.description.abstractThis thesis proposes two distinct but connected ideas: that John Keats’s idiom of friendship was haunted by “sequestered” longings and that he ultimately valued specific, one-on-one partnerships as a basis for his poetical character. The Introduction places the thesis within its critical context and outlines “paradoxical solitude,” a concept the poet expressed by joining a “kindred spirit” in a wilderness retreat in “O, Solitude.” I begin by examining the evolving role of solitude in Keats’s literary predecessors (Chapter I). I then trace the development of ideas of creativity and solitude from his 1814-1815 verse, including his first association with a coterie and the influence of Wordsworth (Chapter II). Building on these findings, I explore the poet’s introduction to the Hunt circle in 1816, assessing his relationships with its members and their overstated roles in the production of Poems (Chapter III). I then discuss how Keats regarded the composition of Endymion in 1817 as a poetic “test,” specifically tailored to reinforce his identity as a solitary poet (Chapter IV). I contend that Keats engaged in a dialogue of independence with Reynolds, adapted the theories of Hazlitt, and restlessly travelled throughout England as a means of rejecting the highly social periods of 1818 (Chapter V). I then consider the creative gains of his northern expedition with Brown in the summer of 1818. I argue that Keats exaggerated his development into a “post-Wordsworthian” poet, positioning himself outside both the coterie’s sphere and the reach of Blackwood’s criticism, and inspiring the theme of Hyperion (Chapter VI). In closing, I analyze Keats’s advice to Shelley to be a selfish creator of his poetic identity. Only through paradoxical solitude, I argue, was Keats able to construct the poetic identity that led him to compose the poems on which his fame rests in the 1820 volume.en
dc.format.extent6248649 bytes
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
dc.subjectCockney Schoolen
dc.subject.lcshKeats, John, 1795-1821--Criticism and interpretationen
dc.subject.lcshSolitude in literatureen
dc.titleParadoxical solitude in the life, letters, and poetry of John Keats, 1814-1818en
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen

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