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Editor reviews

John Keats's (1795 - 1821) awareness of his imminent death lends a tragic intensity to this selection of letters and poems. This is enhanced by the fine performance of Samuel West, whose rich, young voice embodies the passion and precision so characteristic of the poet's brilliant and questing mind. The occasional commentary by Matthew Marsh is in deep, slow contrast to West's narrations. Like other Naxos recordings, the piano interludes - in this case, a selection of Mendelssohn's piano works and his "Songs Without Words" - allow the listener reflective moments to digest the material. The whole is thoughtful and conducive to fully appreciating Keats's lyricism.

Summary

John Keats' letters paint an unforgettably vivid and moving picture of the richly productive but also tragic final years of the poet's life. As he ponders on the nature of the writer's craft, he must first confront his brother's death from tuberculosis and then the imminent prospect of his own, tormented by the fear that he will not live to consummate his relationship with Fanny Brawne.

This general selection also includes many of his finest poems, versions of which often appeared for the first time within the letters themselves. Among them are: "Ode to Melancholy”, "Ode of a Grecian Urn", "Old Meg", "Ode to a Nightingale", "La Belle Dame sans Merci", and "To Autumn".

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

(P)1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

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Poetry Gold

The combination of John Keats' words and Samuel West's voice is an absolute delight. Without doubt, one of the best audio books ever. Realms of gold, indeed.

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sublime poetry

Here some of the most beautiful poetry you will ever hear.; sheer bliss, from John Keats and to hear the sensuousness of his words lifts your spirits soaring. To hear his letters to Fanny Brawn and the intensity of his love for her is surreal.

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Wonderful....

I listened to this while walking and was captivated; so much so, I walked almost to its end. Transporting (literally in my case) and thoroughly heart breaking; Keats' letters and poems ascend until perched in your soul. Marvellous narration,