New Beginnings at Keats House
28 May 2015 – 07 Jun 2015
London, United Kingdom
This year’s Keats Festival is themed New Beginnings, celebrating a new era in the House’s history with innovative new object displays and interactive exhibits.
The Festival - with its exciting programme of performances, talks, films, workshops and family activities - also introduces Michael Rosen (fifth British Children's Laureate) as the new Poet in Residence at Keats House.
Keats House was the home of Romantic poet John Keats from 1818 to 1820. Here, he wrote his most famous poetry and fell in love with the girl next door, Fanny Brawne. In part, the House functions as a shrine to a literary icon whose life was cut tragically short but it also seeks to be a ‘live memorial’ to inspire and engages diverse audiences with Keats’s life, work and legacy.
As part of this re-interpretation, iconic manuscripts and artefacts from the museum collection have been brought out of storage. The house is now suffused with Keats’s poetry; there are recordings of his most famous works, the original books which inspired him, and paintings that helped to popularise his work after his death.
New displays celebrate the romance between Keats and Fanny; visitors can look at original artefacts which belonged to Fanny, listen to extracts from Keats’s passionate letters and poetry and see the love letter that he wrote to her from his sick bed. The interactive exhibits also seek to better engage families with Regency dressing-up opportunities and poetry writing outlets. There are free family activities every month on Family Day.