200 years ago Keats began a long letter to his brother George

On Wednesday 16 December 1818 Keats began his long letter to George and Georgiana, the first time he had been able to write about Tom’s death since it happened at the beginning of the month:
“My dear Brother and Sister — You will have been prepared before this reaches you for the worst news you could have, nay, if Haslam’s letter arrives in proper time, I have a consolation in thinking that the first shock will be past before you receive this. … During poor Tom’s illness I was not able to write and since his death the task of beginning has been a hindrance to me. Within this last Week I have been everywhere — and I will tell you as nearly as possible how all go on.”

[The Keats Bicentenary Diary for 2019 is available at Keats House, Hampstead, price £15.]

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