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Bright StarsJohn Keats, Barry Cornwall and Romantic Literary Culture$
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Richard Marggraf Turley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312113

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315145

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Metropolitan Commissioners of Lunacy

Metropolitan Commissioners of Lunacy

Chapter:
(p.134) 5 Metropolitan Commissioners of Lunacy
Source:
Bright Stars
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846312113.003.0006

This chapter examines how Bryan Cornwall and John Keats attempted to parlay professional expertise into verse romances that focus on the narratives of lunacy. It compares Cornwall's Marcian Colonna and A Sicilian Story with Keats' Isabella and Hyperion poems. It suggests that while Cornwall exploited his personal and professional entrée into the rhetoric of psychiatry to produce crowd-pleasing narratives, Keats insisted on the therapeutic function of poetry. This chapter also highlights how Cornwall displaced Keats in the public's mind while at the same providing structuring presence in Keats' poetic evolution.

Keywords:   Bryan Cornwall, John Keats, narratives of lunacy, poetry, Marcian Colonna, A Sicilian Story, Hyperion, Isabella, poetic evolution

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