25 books like John Keats

By Suzie Grogan,

Here are 25 books that John Keats fans have personally recommended if you like John Keats. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hours of Idleness

Virginia Crow Author Of Beneath Black Clouds and White

From my list on inspirational stories of the romantics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Romantic poetry when I was young. Then, after a gap of several years, I began to write historical fiction, and it was at this time that I found myself being drawn once more to the Romantic poets, this time as people as much as for their work. I discovered their place in the world, contested and controversial, and their influence became a driving light to me and my characters. In Beneath Black Clouds and White, Delphi explains: “It has a pulse, you see, like any other living thing. You must treat each poem as though it were alive.” I feel the same way!

Virginia's book list on inspirational stories of the romantics

Virginia Crow Why did Virginia love this book?

People will tell you Byron produced his best works in later life (not that late, though because he died at the age of 36), his literary prowess capping at Don Juan. That could be true, but there is something beautifully human about Hours of Idleness. It includes my absolute favourite poem, "Lachin y Gair". It’s the poem that rekindled my love of Byron’s poetry after several years of absence, drenched in the poet’s desperation to belong in that history. That same connection with the cultural past is what turned me to writing historical fiction.

But the book is more than just one poem. It’s a youth’s progression into a man, and (as you might expect from Byron) features all the sordidness and bitterness of the emergence of an adult soul.

By George Gordon Byron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hours of Idleness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


Book cover of Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Virginia Crow Author Of Beneath Black Clouds and White

From my list on inspirational stories of the romantics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Romantic poetry when I was young. Then, after a gap of several years, I began to write historical fiction, and it was at this time that I found myself being drawn once more to the Romantic poets, this time as people as much as for their work. I discovered their place in the world, contested and controversial, and their influence became a driving light to me and my characters. In Beneath Black Clouds and White, Delphi explains: “It has a pulse, you see, like any other living thing. You must treat each poem as though it were alive.” I feel the same way!

Virginia's book list on inspirational stories of the romantics

Virginia Crow Why did Virginia love this book?

This book is like looking at the two mirrored sides of the soul. The beauty and simplicity of innocence against the calculated approach of experience. There is one poem in it, "The Little Black Boy", which is a beautiful look through a spectacular naivety at the issue of slavery and racism as it was in the late 18th Century. It features the line:

“When I from black and he from white cloud free.”

And this is where the title of my book came from.

By William Blake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Songs of Innocence and of Experience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience includes some of the visionary poet's finest and best-loved poems such as 'The Lamb', 'The Chimney-Sweeper' and 'The Tiger'.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has a foreword by Peter Harness.

Blake's work is instantly recognizable by its flamboyance and inventiveness. This gorgeous edition contains stunning reproductions of the fifty-four plates of the poems and illustrations together, which Blake etched himself and coloured by…


Book cover of Ballads and Lyrical Pieces

Virginia Crow Author Of Beneath Black Clouds and White

From my list on inspirational stories of the romantics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Romantic poetry when I was young. Then, after a gap of several years, I began to write historical fiction, and it was at this time that I found myself being drawn once more to the Romantic poets, this time as people as much as for their work. I discovered their place in the world, contested and controversial, and their influence became a driving light to me and my characters. In Beneath Black Clouds and White, Delphi explains: “It has a pulse, you see, like any other living thing. You must treat each poem as though it were alive.” I feel the same way!

Virginia's book list on inspirational stories of the romantics

Virginia Crow Why did Virginia love this book?

I’m a person with limited interests so, as well as loving history and poetry, I also collect bits of both… Ballads and Lyrical Pieces is one of the only books I can boast about having a first edition of!

I have a lot of time for Walter Scott, not only as a writer, but as a cultural politician and a folklorist. A lot of the pieces in this book are not solely his work, but the reimagining of local ballads. After scooping up these, there’s no wonder he went on to invent the romanticised “Scottishness” we recognise today. This book, 15 years before Scott influenced George IV’s visit to Scotland, shows where his own influences came from.

By Walter Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ballads and Lyrical Pieces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leopold is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure…


Book cover of The Spirit of the Age

Virginia Crow Author Of Beneath Black Clouds and White

From my list on inspirational stories of the romantics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Romantic poetry when I was young. Then, after a gap of several years, I began to write historical fiction, and it was at this time that I found myself being drawn once more to the Romantic poets, this time as people as much as for their work. I discovered their place in the world, contested and controversial, and their influence became a driving light to me and my characters. In Beneath Black Clouds and White, Delphi explains: “It has a pulse, you see, like any other living thing. You must treat each poem as though it were alive.” I feel the same way!

Virginia's book list on inspirational stories of the romantics

Virginia Crow Why did Virginia love this book?

I’m a sucker for a good primary source, but I’m even more of a fan of the 1.5 sources. I love the sources which are of the time but are influenced as much by rumour as fact. This collection of essays does its best to be objective, but there are people amongst these pages who have been so strongly immortalised in popular opinion, but sometimes facts have been discarded in favour of Hazlitt’s own opinion. But, from the point of view of a historical fiction writer, this is priceless, because it unearths a contemporary viewpoint and opens a window onto the thoughts of a people about The Spirit of the Age!

By William Hazlitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spirit of the Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst

Doug Oudin Author Of Five Weeks to Jamaica

From my list on ocean adventures and life at sea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a man of the sea. From my early days as a boy growing up on the coast of southern California, I became a fisherman at age 5, when my dad took me fishing at the pier in Redondo Beach. In my teens, I bought my first boat that I used in and around King Harbor for fishing. After owning other small boats, I moved to Catalina Island where I worked for 32 years as Harbormaster, earning my 100-ton Masters License and broadening my ocean experiences. Eventually I wanted to share my stories and experiences through writing. My first book, Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster, tells my Catalina story.

Doug's book list on ocean adventures and life at sea

Doug Oudin Why did Doug love this book?

When a man sets sail on an extended ocean voyage, there is usually purpose, determination, and a goal to reach. Donald Crowhurst likely held these objectives when he embarked upon his round-the-world sailing adventure…but somewhere along the way, he lost sight of those goals, and seemingly with the basic truth of reality. Crowhurst’s story is a  sometimes dark and disturbing account of what the voyage was all about, and what may have actually taken place on this strange and bizarre odyssey. As a man who has felt the pangs, insecurities, and unknowns when on the ocean, miles from land, scared, and facing the challenges that both nature and humanity tossed our way, I can somewhat understand how a man at sea can become so lost, so confused, and so vulnerable.

The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst helped me to understand some of the odd feelings and thoughts that I have…

By Nicholas Tomalin, Ron Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A masterpiece.' New Yorker

'Wholly riveting, brilliantly researched.' Evening Standard

'A meticulous investigation into the seeds of disaster... fascinating, uncomfortable reading.' Sunday Times

In 1968, Donald Crowhurst was trying to market a nautical navigation device he had developed, and saw the Sunday Times Golden Globe round the world sailing race as the perfect opportunity to showcase his product.
Few people knew that he wasn't an experienced deep-water sailor. His progress was so slow that he decided to short-cut the journey, while falsifying his location through radio messages from his supposed course.

Everyone following the race thought that he was winning,…


Book cover of Landscape and Englishness

Jeremy Burchardt Author Of Lifescapes: The Experience of Landscape in Britain, 1870-1960

From my list on enhance your understand and enjoyment of landscape.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved the countryside ever since I was a child. Every year we used to stay for a week or two on a beautiful farm hidden away in a hollow of the Leicestershire wolds. I was fascinated by the wildlife and history – the old cottages and churches, local traditions and place names. It’s no accident I became a rural historian! I’m captivated by the strange power of landscape to affect us, subtly weaving itself into our sense of being, and have devoted much of my adult life to trying to understand this. I hope you find the books on the list as rewarding as I have!

Jeremy's book list on enhance your understand and enjoyment of landscape

Jeremy Burchardt Why did Jeremy love this book?

Landscapes like the White Cliffs of Dover, the Cotswolds, or the Lake District are celebrated icons of national identity. 

David Matless shows how, in the first half of the twentieth century, these landscapes became sites of contestation between different visions of the nation. For some, committed to landscape preservation but also to a self-consciously modernizing planning ethos, Englishness was about neat, tidy landscapes, free from litter, pollution, and poverty. For others the real England was traditional, hierarchical, and unplanned, exemplified by the great estates with their country houses and landscape gardens. 

The fundamental question this book raised for me, one I’m still turning over in my mind, was whether and how we can find ways to harmonize our sometimes very different visions of the landscapes we care so much about.

By David Matless,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Landscape and Englishness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Landscape has been central to definitions of Englishness for centuries. David Matless argues that landscape has been the site where English visions of the past, present and future have met in debates over questions of national identity, disputes over history and modernity, and ideals of citizenship and the body. Landscape and Englishness is extensively illustrated and draws on a wide range of material - topographical guides, health manuals, paintings, poetry, architectural polemic, photography, nature guides and novels. The author first examines the inter-war period, showing how a vision of Englishness and landscape as both modern and traditional, urban and rural,…


Book cover of The Plague Dogs

Tui Allen Author Of Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story

From my list on animal stories for love of our planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher, sailor, kayaker, and environmental-vegan animal lover. I live by the sea among marine wildlife. I grew up sailing, then sailed the Pacific on the tiny wooden boat that was my first marital home. We had no engine, no modern technology. Like the sea beings, we had a wing in the wind and a fin in the sea so we lived in their world, on their terms. Alone, helming under the stars, I dreamed of dolphin culture and mentally made lists of possible dolphin vocations. This helped me create fiction from the dolphin viewpoint. Input from scientists brought authenticity to my marine environmental fantasies and messages. 

Tui's book list on animal stories for love of our planet

Tui Allen Why did Tui love this book?

Richard Adams himself signed my copy of this book when he visited New Zealand long ago. If he hadn’t looked deep into my eyes at the time and promised me it had a happy ending I might never have made it to the end, so harrowing was the story. But I finished it and he was right. The story questions the ethics of human exploitation of animals. To me, Plague Dogs was his greatest work, far more important than Watership Down, and certainly no children’s book. Adams is a true master at presenting the animal's point of view. This book hit me like a sledgehammer and like Watership Down, it beautifully evoked the natural world of its setting.

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Plague Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, escape from a research laboratory in the Lake District where it is wrongly supposed they have been purposely infected with a deadly virus and now pose a dangerous threat to the human population. As the authorities give chase, the two friends make their way through the hills and across the moors, along the way learning to survive on their wits and finding friendship and help from a fox they encounter. They dream of finding their original owners and a safe haven - but the hunt is on.

A lyrical and engrossing tale, The Plague Dogs…


Book cover of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

Donna Howard Author Of Bright-Eyes, Bushy-Tail, And The Nutty Narrows Bridge

From my list on nutty squirrel tail tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I fell in love with picture books and the magical, whimsical worlds they opened! I recall snuggling up and listening to these tales being read to me. Later, after a bit of a struggle, I learned to read myself. From there, there was no stopping me. My library card was my most treasured, most loved possession! I quickly moved on to chapter books, then to novels, but never outgrew my love and passion for picture books! As a former teacher and now great-grandparent, I treasure the opportunity to usher children down the rabbit hole of reading!

Donna's book list on nutty squirrel tail tales

Donna Howard Why did Donna love this book?

I am recommending this book because I fell in love with it as a child.

First, those beautiful watercolor illustrations of pure whimsy and secondly, I secretly loved the mischievous squirrel Nutkin and his riddles. As an adult, I love cuddling with my family's nutkins and sharing a laugh and a lesson on the sly.

There is just something special about sharing with your grandchildren a book you loved as a child!

By Beatrix Potter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is an original classic by Beatrix Potter.

Beatrix Potter's famous tale of a naughty squirrel who loses his tail is as popular today as it was when it was first published over 100 years ago. Join Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry and all his cousins as they make their way over to Owl Island to gather nuts. See what happens when Old Brown, the terrifying owl guardian of the island decides he has had enough of silly Nutkin's cheekiness! Ouch!!

Beatrix Potter is regarded as one of the world's best-loved children's authors of all time. From…


Book cover of The Prelude

Mark Rennella Author Of The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

From my list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mark Rennella has given students and professionals helpful advice about writing throughout his career, most recently as a writing coach for MBA candidates at Harvard Business School. Mark earned a PhD in American history from Brandeis University and has taught literature and American history at Harvard University, the University of Miami, and the University of Tours (France). Mark's books, articles, business case studies, and collaborative writing endeavors have garnered him critical praise from historians, academicians, and business leaders alike. His concept of the “one-idea rule” was included among HBR.org’s ten favorite management tips for 2022 and was featured more recently in Forbes. He currently works as an editor for Harvard Business Publishing.

Mark's book list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing

Mark Rennella Why did Mark love this book?

This long poem depicts the “prelude” – the influences from childhood – of William Wordsworth’s life as a poet. In other words, this literary biography explores the source of this poet’s unique voice. This poem was another exciting discovery made during my years as a graduate student.

There are many written works that explore the influence of a writer’s early life on the development of their unique poetic vision. A more recent example is a favorite of mine, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Living to Tell the Tale.

But, for me, Wordsworth stands out because of the incredible sustained poetic voice, vision, and rhythm of this piece, which he worked on and revised over his lifetime. I think the Two-Part Prelude of 1799 is better than the longer version of 1850. The Prelude of 1799 is long enough to take the reader to a new world, but short enough so the magic…

By William Wordsworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prelude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Prelude" is William Wordsworth's epic reflection on his lifetime journey as an artist and is widely considered to be one of his most significant works. First published in 1850 after the poet's death, Wordsworth began working on the blank verse poem in 1798 and continued modifying and expanding it for the rest of his life. Two earlier versions of the poem have been found and published, showing the evolution of this monumental work. A first version, called the "1799 Prelude", is the poem in its earliest and shortest stage. A second version, the "1805 Prelude", is much longer and…


Book cover of Joss Naylor's Lakes, Meres and Waters of the Lake District: Loweswater to Over Water: 105 miles in the footsteps of a legend

Stuart Fisher Author Of Canals of Britain: A Comprehensive Guide

From my list on our canals, rivers, and coast.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate enough to take up white water kayaks as a student in Scotland, eventually becoming a member of the British wild water racing team. The portable nature of these craft makes it easy to move from one stretch of water to another. I subsequently became the editor of Canoeist (by accident) and have travelled all the major British canals, the larger lochs, the entire mainland coast, and many other waters, producing guides that have been found useful for those on the water, on foot, on bikes or in armchairs.

Stuart's book list on our canals, rivers, and coast

Stuart Fisher Why did Stuart love this book?

In 1983 the 47-year-old fell runner Joss Naylor set a record of 19 hours 14 minutes for touching all 27 relevant lakes in the Lake District.

His astonishing time for this 169km run still stands. This was not on the flat, of course, but often over rough country, involving over 6km of vertical height gain.

He had to prepare his support team, find his own route and have witnesses at each lake in the days before mobile phones or satnav. The author walked the route in 2020 with a photographer and Joss in 10 days, still not hanging about for a man in his 80s.

Joss chose to donate his royalties for this inspirational book to the Brathay Trust, which helps the disadvantaged, match funded by publishers Cicerone.

By Vivienne Crow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joss Naylor's Lakes, Meres and Waters of the Lake District as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

King of the Fells. Iron man. Lake District fell running legend. Joss Naylor is all of these things and more. His achievements are astounding, his records stand the test of time. In 1983 he completed the 105-mile Lakes, Meres and Waters (LMW) route in a staggering 19hr 14min and to this day, describes it as one of the best routes he ever ran. High praise indeed and yet, so few know of it.

Part guidebook, part inspirational regaling, this book interweaves tales of past and present as Naylor reflects on his 1983 epic on a re-walk 37 years later. In…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the United Kingdom, London, and anthropomorphism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the United Kingdom, London, and anthropomorphism.

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