1820 - Publication of Keats’s Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems, Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound

A third volume of Keats’s poetry, entitled Lamia, Isabella and The Eve of St. Agnes was published in July 1820. Although sales were slow, the collection was generally very well received, which compensated in part for the bitter and disheartening attacks that critics had unleashed upon Endymion, published two years previously.

Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, a lyrical drama in four acts, was also published in this year. The closet drama (a play not intended for stage production) had taken several years to produce because Shelley had twice abandoned his work following the deaths of two of his children. The publication process proved to be a test of will for the poet, who was still living in Italy and was therefore unable to read the proofs. It was only through writing to acquaintances such as Thomas Medwin and John Keats that Shelley even learned that the book had been published. Despite these difficulties Prometheus Unbound is now considered one of Shelley’s masterpieces.

Fragment from the original manuscript of "Lamia", 1819