In 1820, two key volumes for British Romanticism were published: John Keats’s Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound. . .with Other Poems. This exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of these two poetic achievements. 

Highlights include:

  • Percy Shelley’s draft of “To a skylark” from one of his working notebooks.
  • John Keats’s working draft for the ode “To autumn.”
  • Peterloo Massacre penny pamphlet distributed to protest armed militia’s brutal suppression of a peaceful protest by men, women, and children seeking political representation.
  • Work by contemporaries such as Olaudah Equiano, José María Heredia, and Melesina Trench.

1820: Keats, Shelley & Their World was curated by Leslie A. Morris, Gore Vidal Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the Stuart Curran Symposium, sponsored by the Keats-Shelley Association of America, October 29, 2021.

Planning a visit to the exhibit? Please note that:

  • All visitors to exhibits at Houghton Library age 12 or older will be required to present Harvard ID, or proof of COVID-19 vaccination along with a photo ID for those age 17 and older.
  • Minors under the age of 17 may visit exhibits when accompanied and supervised by an adult who has satisfied the requirements of the Harvard Library Vaccination Requirement Policy.
  • Exhibit visitors younger than 12 years old do not need to provide proof of vaccination or identity but must adhere to all other visitor policies and must be accompanied and supervised at all times by an adult who has satisfied the abovementioned requirements.