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Beauty is truth, truth beauty

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39381.738947.DB (Published 01 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:906
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    John Keats is perhaps better known for his Romantic poetry, such as Ode To A Grecian Urn, than for the fact that he trained as a surgeon-apothecary at Guy's Hospital, 1815-6.

    Although he chose not to pursue his career in surgery after qualifying, allegedly because he found it too gruesome, the hospital has just installed a bronze statue of him, unveiled by the Poet Laureate and Keats's biographer Andrew Motion.

    Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and the Friends of Guy's Hospital joined forces to commission the work from sculptor Stuart Williamson in memory of Dr Robert Knight (1932-2005), who qualified in medicine from Guy's and worked there as a consultant physician with a special interest in chest diseases and the medical problems of women with breast cancer.

    Dr Knight was also a Keats enthusiast and lectured on the subject as well as coordinating the Keats Society at Guy's. He had suggested a statue of Keats on the hospital grounds.

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