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Teachers's Notes

Medium close-up of a young man and a young woman either side of a wall, their hands and her cheek pressed against it

This educational site for secondary schools and further education colleges features interactive teaching materials exploring the representation of Keats' life and poetry in the film Bright Star. Contextualising this onscreen portrayal with biographical information, literary reviews and Keats' poetic legacy, this resource is designed for students of English and Literature at GCSE, AS and A2 and equivalent, as well as those embarking on literary study in higher education.

For a more detailed study of Keats, see the Further Reading suggestions in the document below.


London 1818: a secret love affair begins between twenty-three year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of high fashion. This unlikely pair begin at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general. The illness of Keats' younger brother draws the two together as Keats is touched by Fanny's efforts to help and agrees to teach her poetry.

By the time Fanny's alarmed mother and Keats' best friend Brown finally realise the attachment, the relationship has an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other the young lovers are swept deeply into powerful new sensations, 'I have the feeling as if I were dissolving', Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats' illness proved insurmountable.

Further Reading

Paper Star