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Keats and Consumption

  • Wednesday 5 February – Sunday 5 July 2020
  • Entry included with admission price

On 3 February 1820 Keats realised he had consumption, now known as tuberculosis. At the time there was little understanding of this common illness and no known cure.

Keats nursed both his mother and brother Tom until their deaths from the disease, experiences which affected him deeply and influenced his writing.

While he probably contracted the illness in 1818 while caring for Tom, the disease lay dormant throughout 1819 allowing time for his most creative and brilliant writing. However from 1820 his health deteriorated, destroying his hopes for success and he wrote no more poetry.

Our new exhibition explores the nature of this deadly disease and how it shaped Keats’s life.

Entrance to the exhibition is included in the admission price for the House.

The exhibition is displayed in our first floor gallery, with no level access route.

A print version of the exhibition content is available from the ground floor ticket desk on request.

The exhibition is in the Gallery on the first floor, accessible only by stairs.

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 in Hampstead, the Keats Foundation and the Keats-Shelley House in Rome; 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. 

07 December 2017
Last Modified:
13 February 2020