Geoffrey Keynes

Geoffrey Keynes books and biography


Geoffrey Keynes

A Second World War era photograph showing Keynes (right) with surgeons Max Page and Col. Oramel H. Stanley.
A Second World War era photograph showing Keynes (right) with surgeons Max Page and Col. Oramel H. Stanley.

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (March 25, 1887 in Cambridge - July 5, 1982, in Cambridge) was an English surgeon, physician, scholar and bibliophile. He was the younger brother of the economist John Maynard Keynes.


Geoffrey Keynes was the son of John Neville Keynes (pronounced "Canes"), an economics lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Florence Ada Brown, a successful author and a social reformer. His older brother was the economist John Maynard Keynes and his younger sister Margaret married the Nobel-prize winning physiologist Archibald Hill.

He was educated at Rugby School, where he became friends with Rupert Brooke and was appointed literary executor for the estate of Brooke's death in 1915.

On May 12, 1917 he married Margaret Elizabeth Darwin, the daughter of Sir George Howard Darwin and granddaughter of Charles Darwin. They had four sons:

  • Richard Darwin Keynes (born 1919)
  • Quentin George Keynes (1921-2003)
  • William Milo Keynes (born 1924)
  • Stephen John Keynes (born 1927)

He graduated from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge and then qualified as a surgeon with the Royal College of Surgeons in London. He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and then worked as a consultant surgeon, becoming an expert in blood transfusion. His work to create a portable blood transfusion device was recognized as saving thousands of lives during World War I. His pioneering work on blood transfusion was the primary reason for his eventual knighthood.

He maintained a passionate interest in English literature all his life and devoted a large amount of his time to literary scholarship and the science of bibliography. He was one of the greatest authorities on the literary and artistic work of William Blake and produced biographies and bibliographies of English writers such as Sir Thomas Browne, John Evelyn, Siegfried Sassoon, John Donne and Jane Austen. He was also a pioneer in the history of science, with studies of John Ray, William Harvey and Robert Hooke.

His autobiography The Gates of Memory was published in 1981.


  • Jane Austen: a Bibliography (Nonesuch Press, 1929)
  • Selected Essays of William Hazlitt 1778 : 1830 (Nonesuch Press, 1930)
  • The Works of Sir Thomas Browne: Miscellany Tracts, Repertorium, Miscellaneous Writings (Faber & Gwyer 1931)
  • The Works of Thomas Browne: Letters (Faber & Faber, 1931
  • The Faber Gallery Series: Blake. (Faber and Faber 1945)
  • The Poetical Works of Rupert Brooke (Faber & Faber, 1946)
  • Poetry and Prose of William Blake (Nonesuch 1948)
  • Portraiture of William Harvey London 1949. With a Catalogue and Reproductions of the Pictures. The Thomas Vicary Lecture 1948.
  • The Personality of William Harvey Cambridge University Press: 1949
  • William Blake's Engravings, edited with an introduction (Faber and Faber, (1950)
  • William Blake, 1757-1827 (1949) 1946 ? Blake (1953)
  • The Tempera Paintings of William Blake (1951)
  • The Apologie and Treatise of Ambroise Containing the Voyages Made Into Divers Places with Many of His Writings Upon Surgery (1951)
  • Samuel Butler's Note-Books, selections (1951) with Brian Hill
  • Poems of Rupert Brooke (1954)
  • A Bibliography of Rupert Brooke (1954) Hart-Davis, The Soho Bibliographies, No.4)
  • Harvey Though John Aubrey's Eyes (1958)
  • Essays in Biography 1961 by J. M. Keynes, editor
  • Dr. Timothie Bright 1550-1615. A Survey of his Life with a Bibliography of his Writings (1962)
  • A Study of the Illuminated Books of William Blake Poet, Printer, Prophet (1964)
  • An Exhibition of the Illuminated Books of William Blake: Poet - Printer - Prophet (1964) with Lessing J. Rosenwald
  • On Editing Blake (1964)
  • Blake. The Masters 6 (1965)
  • Henry James in Cambridge (1967)
  • Blake: Complete Writings with Variant Readings (1966)
  • Sir Thomas Browne Selected Writings (1968)
  • The Letters of Rupert Brooke (1968)
  • William Blake Engraver (1969)
  • Drawings of William Blake (1970)
  • William Blake's Water-Colours Illustrating the Poems of Thomas Gray (1972)
  • Deaths Duell by John Donne (1973)
  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1975)
  • The Gates of Memory (1981) Keynes, Geoffrey and Davidson, Peter (Eds.)
  • A Watch of Nightingales (Stourton Press, 1981)


  • Geoffrey Keynes: The gates of memory. Oxford : Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-812657-3
  • To Geoffrey Keynes: Articles from the Book Collector to Commemorate His Eighty-Fifth Birthday (The Book Collector, 1972) with Francis Meynell, A. N. L. Munby, David Garnett, John Sparrow

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Letters Of William Blake

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Poetry And Prose Of William Blake

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