Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Month of Keats: Keats and Hampstead Heath

Our Keats Walk in Hampstead in north London, led by guide Anita Miller, has brought us to Hampstead Heath. Our first time on the Heath was a week before, when we visited Kenwood House. Kenwood is on the north side of the Heath, the place occupied by the various earls of Mansfield (and the setting for the 2013 movie “Belle,” which is well worth seeing). The house includes an incredibly fine art collection, including a Rembrandt, a Vermeer, some Constables, a Gainsborough or two, a Van Dyck, and many others.

John Keats by Joseph Severn, 1819
Today we’re on the south side of the Heath (and it’s a big heath). We have just crossed the street from Well Walk and entered what is a forested part of the area.

This is a place John Keats knew well. He would often walk from where he lived on Well Walk across part of the heath to Wentworth House, where his good friend Charles Armitage Brown lived. Brown was the companion who spent 48 days hiking Scotland with Keats, and the friend who would offer Keats a place to live after his brother Tom died in late 1818.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Photograph: A forested part of Hampstead Heath.

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