When Joseph Severn, described by one contemporary as an ‘old and frail man’ who ‘lived in the past’, finally died in 1881, his papers found their way into the hands of William Sharp. Among the letters and fragments, were a number of journals and ‘reminiscences’, written sometime between 1850 and 1880 and seemingly intended for publication. One in particular, ‘Incidents of My Life’, was a shapely attempt at autobiography. But Severn the artist, who according to Eric Robertson, a professor who visited Severn in his last years, was still painting portraits of the ‘beautiful boyish Keats of his memory’ even in old age (Sharp, (1892), p. 302), could not organise himself into Severn the memoir writer. Sharp found himself, as he himself admitted, in a similar position to Monckton Milnes, ‘the Editor of the Life which was, as it were, already written’ (Sharp, (1892), p. xvi). In other words, he was compelled to abridge and rewrite parts of Severn’s account of Keats and yet to present it as if it were Severn’s untouched – and therefore pure – memoir. This presented problems, not least because Severn had frequently refined his memory of Keats during the course of his life and was writing many years after the events described.