To celebrate the 200th anniversary of John Keat’s stay in Shanklin back in the summer of 1819, Shanklin’s Mayor Steve Knight and Mayoress Esther Knight recently opened an exhibition of works by Keats at Shanklin Community Library.
Mayor Steve Knight said:
“Shanklin is proud of it’s cultural roots and Keats’ stays in Shanklin are reflected in his ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever’ quote”.
The quote from Keat’s Endymion is featured across the Island and marked by a plaque on Keats Green Shanklin. The Anniversary of Keat’s stay is being recognised in Shanklin’s 2019 Carnivals, as well as with a special quiz sponsored by Dave Woodward from Keats Cottage.
Library Co-ordinator Maria Darbon added:
“Volunteers at the Library thought it was important to highlight the work of John Keats, and the inspiration that his stays here gave to his literary works”.
Research uncovered a 1819 letter from Keats including: “It is more than a fortnight since I left Shanklin chiefly for the purpose of being near a tolerable Library, which after all is not to be found in this place. However we like it very much: it is the pleasantest Town I ever was in, and has the most recommendations of any”.
Shanklin’s current library is in the process of being relocated to Falcon Cross, as part of a significant investment by the Town Council. Outline planning has now been approved, with detailed construction drawings currently being produced.
Mayor Knight concluded:
“Visitors and residents alike are welcome to visit the Library to see the exhibition and access the range of services available – we are grateful to all the volunteers for making this happen”.