This made me laugh, Keats’ pithy analysis of the source of English literary brilliance.  There are several references in his letters to his belief that he will be recognised as one of the great poets of his country, already star-studded with great poets, but not in his lifetime.

Perhaps he might have lived to see such recognition, had he survived beyond his early twenties.

My belief is that the creation of great writing or other art tends to be despite, and not due to, ill-treatment.

‘One of the great reasons that the English have produced the finest writers in the world: is, that the English world has ill-treated them during their lives and foster’d them after their deaths.’   9 June 1819


Source: John Keats, Selected Letters, ed. Robert Gittings (Oxford World Classics, 2002/2009), p. 241

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