It's good news that this touching letter is to go on display where it belongs. Unless there's a dramatic discovery, that will be it - the last Keats letter to appear on the market. They are of course beyond price, in whatever form, but to see the actual sheets of paper on which Keats wrote adds an extra dimension and enlivens them with yet more vitality.
The letters have been my bedtime reading in recent weeks, and with all of them (except the most formal) you feel the physical act of writing (as well as the quicksilver mental activity) coming through with quite extraordinary force. Partly it is the punctuation - especially that liberal scattering of dashes, then and now the best punctuation for spontaneous writing. I wonder if this is itself a product of writing with a dip pen - the dashes marking the points at which the pen must be dipped. Certainly the use of dashes - which was also standard in printed fiction - seems to have died down with the coming of the fountain pen. Is this a theory? Does it hold water? Or even ink?