John Keats spent time in Winchester in 1819; his most productive year as a poet, working on 'Lamia', 'Otho the Great', and 'Hyperion'. “The air is worth sixpence a pint” he told a friend. He took regular walks in the water meadows, and wrote his beautiful ode “To Autumn” after walking through the meadows to the Hospital of St Cross.
From the 10th of September until the 20th of December 2019, the Treasury will host an exhibition about Keats and Winchester in the early 19th century. This will explore the influence of the city on Keats, and also some of the links between Keats and eighteenth century poets educated at Winchester College (particularly William Collins and Joseph Warton). Among the objects on display will be Keats’s ‘death mask’, on loan from Eton College.
During the Autumn, there are a number of events taking place at the school, celebrating the poet's work.
On Wednesday 11th September, Sir Jonathan Bate (Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford) is giving a talk entitled, John Keats: his time in Winchester and 'Ode To Autumn'. Tickets are available here.
Marking the actual day of Keats's famous walk, Headmaster Dr Timothy Hands will give a talk on 'Winchester Poet Power: The Path to Keats’ Autumn' on the 19th of September. More information and tickets are available via Heritage Open Days.
School pupils will also be taking part in an essay competition, run in partnership with the University of Winchester and supported by The Keats Foundation. The competition involves a detailed study of one of Keats's poems of 1819. The prize-giving on the 19th of October will include talks by distinguished Keats scholars, Professor Nicholas Roe (Wardlaw Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews) and Dr Gary Farnell (Senior Lecturer, University of Winchester).
30th March 2021
John Keats died 200 years ago of tuberculosis. He stayed in Winchester in 1819, his most productive year as a poet. While here he took regular walks in the water meadows and wrote “Ode to Autumn” after walking along the river to the Hospital of St Cross. This article looks at his time in Winchester and the disease which would eventually 'take his breath away'.
23rd November 2020
This year’s Recita was a blended affair with some of the performers reciting remotely. Nevertheless, the socially-distanced audience enjoyed a wonderful evening of stunning poetry, which ranged from the comic to the musical to the profound.
8th November 2020
A wintry Winchester was the perfect location for the boys' first introduction to bushcraft and survival skills.
20th October 2020
In the final instalment of our focus on Wordsworth, in this 250th anniversary year of his birth, we reveal a previously undiscovered treasure within the school's collection.
13th October 2020
The texts pupils study in Div, English and other lessons provide springboards for discussion about a range of topics. Ensuring there is content that is both diverse and international in outlook encourages depth of study and understanding.
9th October 2020
As the school considers how it celebrates the diversity of its community, Black History Month provides an opportunity to focus on how pupils are learning about different voices and cultures, and their inseparability from our "own" histories and experiences.