Fanny Brawne's engagement ring

Contributed by Keats House Museum

The ring given to Fanny Brawne by John Keats

In early 1820 English poet John Keats gave this ring to Fanny Brawne as a statement of his intention to marry her. When Keats became ill with tuberculosis he wanted to break off the engagement, but Fanny would not let him. At this time in London, tuberculosis killed one in three people and there was no known cure. Doctors advised Keats to move to the warmer climes of Italy and when Keats left Hampstead in September 1820 he was still hopeful that he would return and marry her. He did not return, but died on the 23rd February 1821 in Rome. His poem 'Bright Star' is dedicated to her. Fanny wore the ring until her death in 1865.

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