Penguin Little Black Classics have recently appeared in our local bookshop. We have purchased quite a few titles from this range of little thin books (60 pages) because they make ideal reading material for train or plane journeys.
No 13 in the series is a selection of poems by John Keats including the The Eve of St Agnes, first published in 1820, the year that Keats travelled to Rome in search of a cure for his tuberculosis. For more about Keats in Rome see our earlier blog posts.
Keats’ London life had been centred around Guys Hospital where he was studying medicine and working as an assistant surgeon. Guys is in Southwark, in an area rarely visited by tourists until recently when the very high office tower, known as the Shard, was built nearby.
Guy’s hospital was founded in 1721, and is now a large modern hospital, although the old historic buildings at the entrance still, on the outside at least, look something like they did in Keats’ time.