John Keats Poetry, LIfe and Landscapes written by Suzie Grogan and published by Pen & Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 224

John Keats is one of Britain’s best-known and most-loved poets. Despite dying in Rome in 1821, at the age of just 25, his poems continue to inspire a new generation who reinterpret and reinvent the ways in which we consume his work. Apart from his long association with Hampstead, North London, he has not previously been known as a poet of ‘place’ in the way we associate Wordsworth with the Lake District, for example, and for many years readers considered Keats’s work remote from political and social context. Yet Keats was acutely aware of and influenced by his surroundings: Hampstead; Guy’s Hospital in London where he trained as a doctor; Teignmouth where he nursed his brother Tom; a walking tour of the Lake District and Scotland; the Isle of Wight; the area around Chichester and in Winchester, where his last great ode, To Autumn, was composed.

Blimey, this book was a blast from the past in that I remember learning about Keats during English classes at school. If I remember rightly I enjoyed reading his poems back then and now revisiting them now has bought a few of them back. I think what I enjoyed most was that he loved the outdoors, whether that was the countryside or big cities, I remember as a teenager camping in the Lake District and having visited some of the little places in Cumbria appealed to me as it felt like I had visited the same type of places he might have. This lovely book takes you through the life of Keats by use of his poems enabling you to follow in his footsteps. This book has been written with great care and research, you’re not instructed to think one thing or the other. Or there isn’t a slant on it written by the author Suzie Grogan. I’m going to say this book was out of my range really or something I don’t usually read. But I’m going to say I really enjoyed this book and it made a nice change from my usual reading. I can only say that I really do recommend it to others.