One of Keats' best loved poems is Ode to Autumn, it eulogises the English countryside, with its description of the water-meadows in Winchester.
However, researchers now believe the site Keats described was actually a nearby hill, currently occupied by a car park.
Professor Richard Marggraf Turley, of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University, said that they found an engraving in a walking guidebook to Winchester that Keats used and noticed shadows of furrowed ploughed land.
After checking the leasehold, they discovered that it was held by a banker called Nicholas Waller who had been buying up all the land in the area.
He said that "suddenly the bucolic languor started to resonate in a more political way".
Professor Marggraf Turley and his colleagues concluded that Keats "got the conceptual energies and the political resonances from a political debate that was raging when he arrived in Winchester" and that "far from writing about contented labourers, he was writing about discontented labourers".
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.