200 years ago Keats asked to be put into the Cave of despair

On Monday 15 November 1819 Keats wrote to his friend the painter Joseph Severn

My dear Severn,
I am very sorry that on Tuesday I have an appointment in the City of an undeferable nature; and Brown on the same day has some business at Guildhall. I have not been able to figure your manner of executing the Cave of despair, therefore it will be at any rate a novelty and surprise to me—I trust on the right side…
(You had best put me into your Cave of despair.)
Ever yours sincerely
John Keats

[Severn’s picture ‘Una and the Red Cross Knight in the Cave of Despair’ would go on to win the Royal Academy’s gold medal 1819.]

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