Charles Armitage Brown: The Friend of Keats

  • Nicholas RoeEmail author


Charles Armitage Brown (1787–1842) is remembered now as ‘the friend of John Keats’: his generosity gave the poet a home for his most productive months between December 1818 and May 1820. Most that is widely known about Brown is associated with Keats; his later life has been largely, although not entirely, overlooked. My chapter briefly recapitulates Brown’s early life, and focuses principally on his later career as a Shakespeare scholar, keen on theatregoing, an accomplished amateur artist, a would-be playwright and novelist, a gardener, and an intrepid long-distance walker. Brown was also one of the first ‘Keatsians’, whose activities at Plymouth 1835–37 included the first publication of poems by Keats (including the famous ‘Bright Star’ sonnet), an exhibition of Keatsiana at the Plymouth Institution, and a draft of the first full biography of Keats. My chapter explores this lost West Country episode, foregrounding Brown’s activities at Plymouth and his role in this crucial formative stage in the reception of Keats.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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