George Keats Bio Wins Louisville History Award
"As George Keats completed the arc from being born an Englishman to American citizen, his status upgraded from orphan and working class poor in London, to cultured, leading citizen in Louisville, Kentucky. An investor in properties, board member of fourteen organizations, Keats was respected. Lawrence Crutcher, a descendant of Keats, has written a history so detailed, that investments and debts are described by their significance to the society - whether English or American.
As the reader walks with Keats down Main Street in 1819, a busy, interesting Louisville emerges; by mid-1820's it is a city of culture, the basis of the lively city today."
- Nana Lampton, Louisville businesswoman, poet, artist
"'George Keats deserves better'" begins this remarkable biography by his great-great-great grandson Lawrence Crutcher. Long treated as just the brother (and a somewhat self-serving one) of the adored poet, George Keats emerges in the pages of George Keats of Kentucky not only with a brisk defense from this descendant, who refutes the received story of financial gullibility and malfeasance, but also as a compelling historical figure in his own right: an illuminating focus for the challenges of establishing a life-ultimately a prosperous life-in frontier America. Crutcher writes with engaging clarity, insight, and surefooted reference to an extraordinary archive of information, including materials and striking images published here for the first time. This is exciting, important work, no less than for putting the life of John Keats in a fresh perspective than for making a wonderfully detailed contribution to the field of nineteenth-century American studies-among the cast of characters Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, James Freeman Clarke, and John James Audubon. The copious illustrations alone are worth the price of admission but those who dive into the text will find themselves swept up by Crutcher's fascinating adventure in historical and biographical narrative."