Before he parted from Fanny Brawne and left Wentworth Place, Keats asked her to write to his sister, Fanny Keats. This began a correspondence of 31 letters over a four-year period.
Fanny Brawne wrote this letter on 8 October 1821. She had not written to Keats’s sister in over three months, but we do not know why this was and no reason is given in her letter.
This extract is read by Darcy Keeble Watson, for the #Keats200 bicentenary programme.
Monday October 8th
My dear Fanny
If I am not mistaken this is about the time you expected to be in London – I hope you will not forget to appoint some day for my seeing you. Unless your time is very short I will not come should the day you mention prove wet, but wait till the next and so on, for I need not say how I hate sloppy weather and at present there is no fixing on a day with any confidence –
Mrs Dilke is in town and expressed a great wish to accompany me whenever I paid you a visit, but I am not sure that I can arrange it so as to bring her next time. I hope you have kept yourself safe from all colds, for though early to begin I have got a very disfiguring one, no doubt through my boast to Mrs Abbey that I never on any occasion caught cold. You have not I suppose seen Mr Guiterez, he called about a fortnight ago to take leave, as he intended to pass a week or two at Walthamstow with his friend, Mr Wigram I think was the beautiful name. I would have sent a letter to you by him, but men are so stupid I was affraid of his losing it, besides thinking it very likely you might not meet. God bless you my dear Fanny, I shall expect every day to hear from you.
Yours very affectionately,
Postmark: Hampstead, 4 o’clock, Oct. 8. 1821. Ev.
Address: For Miss Keats / Richard Abbey’s Esquire / Walthamstow
Read Fanny Brawne’s previous letter dated 20 June 1821.
The Keats200 bicentenary is a celebration of Keats’s life, works and legacy, beginning in December 2018 through to February 2021 and beyond. It is led by three major partners – Keats House, Hampstead, The Keats Foundation and the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association – and is open to all individuals and organisations who have an interest in Keats or poetry. The bicentenary of Keats’s most productive years as a poet, and the period when he found inspiration, friendship and love, is an exciting opportunity to (re)discover and enjoy his works as well as engage with poetry and its ongoing relevance to us all today.