Keats's Paradise Lost

Beth Lau

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"Indispensable . . . Lau's edition will prove of inestimable benefit as a rich textual resource for scholars, teachers, and students working on a variety of cutting-edge topics."--Greg Kucich, University of Notre Dame


This edition and analysis of John Keats's marginalia in his personal copy of Milton's epic poem makes available for the first time all of Keats's Paradise Lost annotations and textual markings. It is the most accurate and fully annotated edition of the marginalia available. Accompanying discussion analyzes patterns and themes in Keats’s Paradise Lost marginalia, dates, them, and explores the practice of writing in books in the early 19th century. Lau's work presents new primary Keats material and offers the first formal study of this neglected aspect of Keats’s canon.
Keats's marginalia convey a wealth of information about his reading habits and aesthetic tastes generally, as well as about his life, personality, and creative process. It also enhances our understanding of Milton's deep and far-ranging influence on Keats's thought and work. In addition, the book makes an important contribution to the study of marginalia as a genre--one that flourished in the Romantic era. Finally, it helps to document a stage of history in the reception of Milton's poem and therefore will be of interest to Milton scholars as well as to Keats and Romantics scholars.

Beth Lau is professor of English at California State University, Long Beach. She is the author of Keats's Reading of the Romantic Poets and coeditor of Approaches to Teaching Brontë's Jane Eyre. She has also published a number of articles on Keats and other Romantic writers.

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"few readers can fail to be thrilled to watch one major poet, in his early twenties, vigorously finding himself in his great predecessor's masterwork. Professor Lau had given us a welcome and instructive piece of scholarship." - Kritikon Litterarum Kritikon Litterarum

"a valuable study of Keat's marginalia in his copy of Milton's poem." "Undoubtedly this book makes a large and significant contribution to our understanding of poetic relations and intertextual dynamics." - Year's Work in English Studies Year's Work in English Studies

"Lau's finest achievement is how she brings to bear her talents as an impressive reader of primary textual evidence in her interrogation of larger theoretical questions of intertextuality and 'anxiety of influence.'" -- New Books in Nineteenth-Century Studies New Books in Nineteenth-Century Studies

"A work of conscientious scholarship that will long remain genuinely valuable to scholars in the field." -- The Wordsworth Circle The Wordsworth Circle

"Whether one's concern is with Keats's developing aesthetic, with poetic influence as traditionally understood, or with the cultural matrix of his literary production-a matrix that included the constant and enthusiastic interchange of letters, drafts of poems, and annotated books among members of Keat's circle-this volume will stimulate a provocative reassessment of Keat's work." -Review of English Studies Review of English Studies

"This is an original, challenging, lucid book, a 'must' for anybody who needs to know all there is to know about Keats's odes." -Modern Language Review Modern Language Review

"Lau's commentary and notes to the marginalia are informative, detailed and insightful" - Romanticism "Lau's book reminds us of the importance of an alternative mode of response, in which the seemingly dry-as-dust work of scholarly retrieval can itself give fresh insight and impetus to one's critical (and perhaps even 'poetic') responses." - Romanticism Romanticism

"Keats's Paradise Lost is a valuable contribution in at least two ways: it makes easily available a more complete representation of Keats's marginalia to that poem, and it codifies gracefully a traditional view of Keats's writings and their meanings." Terence Hoagwood, Texas A&M University Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"An important body of work whose contributions mobilize pivotal areas in representing Irish culture via the shifing axes of a (post)-colonial/(post)modern/(post)nationalist Ireland."- James Joyce Literary Supplement James Joyce Literary Supplement

" An indispensable scholarly aid to Keatsians and romanticists in general. University of Florida, is snapping up some of the finest works of Keatsian scholarship emerging from the United States. This is an impressively learned book, not only in the sense that its author is alert to scholarly minutiae, but in that he is adept in matters of critical debate. The University Press of Florida ,not one which to the best of my knowledge had any particular investment in Keats studies before 1998, is to be congratulated on its publication of two volumes that libraries should regard as essential acquisitions. " - The American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies The American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

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