Born at Moorfields, in the shadow of the notorious madhouse Bedlam, John Keats lived on a knife-edge between ancient and modern medical knowledge. The grotesque statues of Melancholy and Raving Madness at the gateway to the asylum gave the schoolboy Keats a terrifying glimpse of medieval horrors within. He never forgot those figures, and summoned them to poetic life as the tormented Titans in his epic Hyperion. At Guy’s Hospital, by contrast, Keats absorbed the most advanced medical and surgical knowledge from brilliant lecturers, Astley Cooper among them.


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