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 2020
Ode to a Nightingale reminds us of the power of the imagination to triumph over human frailty and disease.
27th March 2020
Whilst we are unable to gather for our Passiontide Service, it is still possible to share the music we would have enjoyed, and find a moment of peace.
26th March 2020
Whilst we wait for a knight in armour to save the day, our Head of Art History encourages us to use this time to look at the world around us with fresh eyes.
25th March 2020
For the third in our series of Thoughts for the Day, the Chaplain celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
24th March 2020
The spring equinox is the moment of the year where the scales begin to turn in favour of longer days, and more light. Can we take comfort from the rhythms of nature when the patterns of our own daily routines are so disrupted?
23rd March 2020
'Invictus' was written by a man who, as a child, suffered tuberculosis of the bone, had to have a leg amputated and nearly lost the other. Henley had to endure much and this poem is about the spirit which underpins endurance. As pupils continue their learning remotely, Div Dons will send them a 'Thought for the Day' during term-time, carefully chosen to inspire reflection and discussion. These selections, alongside a brief introduction, will be shared here daily.