Although the great poet John Keats lived a short life, he produced a series of outstanding poemsmany of which appeared first in letters to his sister. He was largely unappreciated during his lifetime and died in Rome at the age of twenty-six. Most of his 150 poems were written in just nine extraordinary months in 1819.
This selection contains some of his finest works: the principal Odes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Old Meg, and Much Have I Travelled.
About the Author
John Keats (1795–1821) was an English romantic poet. Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the romantic movement, despite the fact that his work had been in publication for only four years before his death. During his life, his poems were not generally well received by critics; however, after his death, his reputation grew to the extent that by the end of the nineteenth century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. He has had a significant influence on a diverse range of later poets and writers. His poetry is characterized by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popularly read and analyzed.
Samuel West’s long and distinguished career on stage and screen has earned him roles in Cambridge Spies, Waking the Dead, Notting Hill, and Iris, as well as a BAFTA nomination for his performance in Howards End. He has also narrated several audio books, including Sebastian Faulks’ Charlotte Gray, for which he won a Talkie Award, and Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders.
Michael Sheen, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, has been seen widely on stage and screen. His major theatrical roles include Henry V, Peer Gynt, Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger as well as appearances in Pinter’s Moonlight and The Homecoming. Among his film work is Wilde, Mary Reilly, and Othello. Since leaving RADA, he has recorded numerous audiobooks, including Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Idiot, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Great Poems of the Romantic Age, and Oedipus the King. He has also directed and read the part of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet for Naxos AudioBooks.
Simon Russell Beale is an award-winning stage actor and recipient of numerous accolades, including the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He is an associate of the National Theatre and the Almeida Theatre in London and an associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company. His audiobook narrations have won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards.
Sarah Woodward joined the
Royal Shakespeare Company after leaving RADA and has since appeared in many
Shakespearean roles including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Other theater credits include The Sea, Kean, and Wild Oats.