Keats’s letters are unstudied, conversational, vivid, vital, personal and intimate. They were not written to be published and so, unlike a modern writer with a nervous eye on projecting the right image to his/her public, they are unselfconscious and disarmingly candid. This is not to say that they would only be read by the addressee — Keats’s letters were passed round, copied and avidly collected by his admirers even while he was still alive. Most retained his letters out of love and respect for Keats himself, some out of love of his verse, and one or two because they saw a commercial value in them.
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