200 years ago Keats got drenched on the coach to Portsmouth

On Sunday 27 June 1819, travelled to the Isle of Wight, as he wrote to his sister:

“I was on the Portsmouth Coach the Sunday before last in that heavy shower—and I may say I went to Portsmouth by water—I got a little cold, and as it always flies to my throat I am a little out of sorts that way. There were on the Coach with me some common French people but very well behaved—there was a woman amongst them to whom the poor Men in ragged coats were more gallant than ever I saw gentleman to Lady at a Ball. When we got down to walk up hill—one of them pick’d a rose, and on remounting gave it to the woman with ‘Ma’mselle voila une belle rose!’”

To save money Keats generally travelled on the outside of the coach, which certainly shortened his life.

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