Bright Star, Green Light
A dazzling biography of two interwoven, tragic lives: John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
‘Highly engaging … Go now, read this book’ THE TIMES
‘For awhile after you quit Keats,’ Fitzgerald once wrote, ‘All other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming.’
John Keats died two hundred years ago, in February 1821. F. Scott Fitzgerald defined a decade that began one hundred years ago, the Jazz Age.
In this biography, prizewinning author Jonathan Bate recreates these two shining, tragic lives in parallel. Not only was Fitzgerald profoundly influenced by Keats, titling Tender is the Night and other works from the poet’s lines, but the two lived with echoing fates: both died young, loved to drink, were plagued by tuberculosis, were haunted by their first love, and wrote into a new decade of release, experimentation and decadence.
Luminous and vital, this biography goes through the looking glass to meet afresh two of the greatest and best-known Romantic writers in their twinned centuries.
Advance praise for Bright Star, Green Light 'With a fine-tuned ear for poetic language, a master-biographer's eye for the revealing detail, and an astonishing mental filing system that recognizes countless meaningful matches among the works and lives of these two great, doomed writers, Jonathan Bate has written a wonderfully illuminating and moving book' Robert Watson, Distinguished Professor of English, UCLA Praise for Jonathan Bate's Radical Wordsworth (2020) 'An entertaining biography ... Excellent, intellectually rousing' The Times 'This new book, like everything Bate writes, richly repays reading ... He is illuminating on the sources of Wordsworth's nature worship ... He carefully and persuasively re-examines the effects of the revolution on Wordsworth ... Bate shows that it was Wordsworth who inspired the founders of the National Trust ... It is hard to think of another poet who has changed our world so much' Sunday Times 'A bold and bracing account, masterful with its material, patiently brilliant in reading the poems, and gloriously convincing about its subject's social significance' Daily Telegraph 'Bate's stirring biography ... is neither rushed nor reductive. It is full of sharp anecdotes that evoke the lives of the Wordsworths ... Bate is able to set the poetry amid the personal' Spectator 'A pacy writer and doesn't pull his punches when it comes to Wordsworth's later poetry ... When he was at his best, Bate says, his poems were as powerful as any since Shakespeare and they 'uphold and feed' the spirit of anyone who reads them' Daily Mail
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