200 years ago, Keats caught the night coach to Southampton, as he set off to write ‘Endymion’

On Monday 14 April 1817, at the Bell & Crown Inn at Holborn, Keats caught the night coach to Southampton enroute to the Isle of Wight to begin writing ‘Endymion’. This was the most important day of his poetic career to date: he was setting off (as he wrote to his brother George) to
‘make 4000 Lines of one bare circumstance and fill them with Poetry … this is a great task, and … when done it will take me but a dozen paces towards the Temple of Fame’.
‘Endymion’ — and the toxic critical response to it — would haunt him for the rest of his life. He would eventually finish his epic poem on 28 November.

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