200 years ago John and George Keats were at a ‘pianoforte hop’

On Tuesday 11 January 1820 Keats and his brother attended
“a pianoforte hop” given by his former neighbours Mr & Mrs Charles Dilke. Describing it to his sister-in-law:
“There was very little amusement in the room, but a Scotchman to hate. Some people, you must have observed, have a most unpleasant effect upon you when you see them speaking in profile. This Scotchman is the most accomplished fellow in this way I ever met with. The effect was complete. It went down like a dose of bitters, and I hope will improve my digestion…

George has introduced to us an American of the name of Hart. I like him in a moderate way. He was at Mrs. Dilke’s party — and sitting by me; we began talking about English and American ladies. The Miss Reynolds’ and some of their friends made not a very enticing row opposite us. I bade him mark them and form his judgment of them. I told him I hated Englishmen because they were the only men I knew. He does not understand this.”

[The Miss Reynolds’ = Jane, Marian and possibly Eliza and Charlotte. Keats was on very friendly terms with the family until he fell for Miss Brawne in December 1818.]

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