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By Ayumi Mizukoshi

This booklet tackles the interpretative challenge of "pleasure" in Keats's poetry by means of putting him within the context of the liberal, leisured, and plush tradition of Hunt's circle. difficult the traditional interpretation that attributes Keats's poetic improvement to his separation from Hunt, Mizukoshi argues that Keats, imbued with Hunt's bourgeois ethic and aesthetic, remained a poet of sensuous excitement via to the top of his brief occupation.

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Additional info for Keats, Hunt and the Aesthetics of Pleasure (Romanticism in Perspective)

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Hunt ought to have been a gentleman born, and to have patronised men of letters. He might then have played, and sung, and laughed, and talked his life away . . and his Story of Rimini would have been praised by Mr. '89 This fierce ideological dispute revealed ever-increasing mobility in the early nineteenth century. Just as the new middle classes were clamouring for political reform, so they also wanted to take a share of (high) culture. In the eyes of the establishment, however, Hunt's poetry was a potential threat to a traditional system of social and cultural hierarchy.

Com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-18 trend in which an increasing number of middle-class writers turned to verse. 105 This peculiarity of Hunt's poetry as `the easy graceful style of familiar narrative' was the manifestation of his bourgeois poetics. His poetry was written for the metropolitan middle class, and the considerable popularity it enjoyed may be attributed to its being an easy and pleasant read. 106 It may be argued that Hunt was the first (or at least the most assiduous) writer both to cater for and to cultivate the middleclass market for poetry.

72 Lockhart quoted this apostrophe in full, informing the reader that `Keats belongs to the Cockney School of Politics, as well as the Cockney School of Poetry. . '73 As we have seen, Hunt may seem to be a quintessential product of the eighteenth-century bourgeois culture of affluence. Yet there was a crucial difference between Hunt and, for example, Defoe: Defoe felt a need to `reconcile plenty with morality',74 but Hunt was quite happy to eliminate morality from luxury altogether. 76 The eighteenth century was a period in which unprecedented wealth produced a profound cultural embarrassment as well as moralist suspicions of material pleasures.

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