This post was originally published on the ‘Placing the Author’ blog for the Postcard Project, 2015.
Anna Mercer visits the Keats-Shelley House Museum, Piazza di Spagna, Rome, February 2015
My second visit to the Keats-Shelley House was to attend a poetry reading there on Valentine’s Day. The house is a museum dedicated to the British writers who spent time in Italy during self-exile. The use of the space not just for exhibitions but also for literary events is fantastic. At this event, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese were performed in both Italian and English. The power of such a public occasion inspired me so much that I now plan to put on an event in July 2016 to celebrate the bicentenary of Frankenstein‘s composition.
What I got out of the experience…
Although the house is so named because it was Keats’ final home, and the place of his death in 1821, the museum pays tribute to the second generation of Romantic poets and their fellow writers as a group: the Shelleys, Byron, and the painter Joseph Severn, for example. Rome is so important for these writers, and near the Piazza di Spagna there is the Via Sistina where the Shelleys …read more