The Info List - Geoffrey Keynes


Geoffrey Keynes in 1957
A Second World War era photograph showing Keynes (right) with surgeons Max Page (left) and Col. Oramel H. Stanley.[2]

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (/ˈknz/ KAYNZ; 25 March 1887, Cambridge – 5 July 1982, Cambridge) was an English surgeon and author. He was the younger brother of the economist John Maynard Keynes.[3]


Geoffrey Keynes was the son of John Neville Keynes, 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 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.

He graduated from Pembroke College, 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.

During World War II, Keynes was a consulting surgeon to the Royal Air Force. In 1944 he was promoted to the rank of acting air vice-marshal.

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 a leading authority on the literary and artistic work of William Blake and "was instrumental in establishing Blake as a central figure in the history of English art and literature."[3] He also 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. He was also a pioneer in the field of breast cancer surgery, advocating for limited surgery instead of the invasive radical mastectomy.[4] His biography The Life of William Harvey was awarded the 1966 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 1967 he delivered the Wilkins Lecture at the Royal Society. Keynes was President of the Bibliographical Society (1952–1954)[5] and was awarded the Society's Gold Medal in 1982.

His autobiography The Gates of Memory was published in 1981, and he died the following year, aged 95.


  • A Bibliography of Dr. John Donne (1914, 1932, 1958, 1973)
  • A Bibliography of William Blake (The Grolier Club, New York, 1921)
  • Blood Transfusion (H. Frowde, London, 1922)
  • William Pickering, Publisher: A Memoir and a Hand-List of his Editions (The Fleuron, 1924)
  • 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 Press, 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)
  • A Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke (1960)
  • 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)
  • Blake: Complete Writings with Variant Readings, editor, Oxford University Press, 1966 (UK-Paperback, Revised). ISBN 0192810502
  • William Blake. Songs of Innocence and of Experience, editor, with Introduction and Commentary. London: Oxford University Press (1967)
  • Henry James in Cambridge (1967)
  • Sir Thomas Browne, Selected Writings (1968)
  • The Letters of Rupert Brooke (1968)
  • William Blake Engraver (1969)
  • William Pickering, Publisher: A Memoir and a Check-List of his Publications (London, Galahad Press, 1969; New York, Burt Franklin, 1969)
  • Drawings of William Blake: 92 Pencil Studies. Selection, Introduction and Commentary, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1970 ISBN 0-486-22303-5
  • A Bibliography of Sir William Petty F.R.S. and of 'Observations on the Bills of Mortality' by John Graunt F.R.S. Oxford : Clarendon Press (1971)[6]
  • 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)


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


  1. ^ Bergljung, Lars (2005). "[Sir Geoffrey Keynes 1887-1982. Surgical pioneer, medical historian, humanist]". Svensk Medicinhistorisk Tidskrift. 9 (1): 147–153. ISSN 1402-9871. PMID 17153181. 
  2. ^ Chapter Ii. History.amedd.army.mil. Retrieved on 2014-06-27.
  3. ^ a b David McKitterick, ‘Keynes, Sir Geoffrey Langdon (1887–1982)’, rev. Stephen Lock, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ Bergljung, Lars (2005). "[Sir Geoffrey Keynes 1887-1982. Surgical pioneer, medical historian, humanist]". Svensk Medicinhistorisk Tidskrift. 9 (1): 147–153. ISSN 1402-9871. PMID 17153181. 
  5. ^ "The Bibliographical Society – Past Presidents". Bibsoc.org.uk. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  6. ^ WorldCat entry for Keynes 1971.


External links