Percy Bysshe Shelley - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet; nineteenth century British Literature / English Literature and poetry
Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792 - 1822)

Category:  English Literature
Born:  August 4, 1792
Field Place near Horsham, Sussex, England
Died:  July 8, 1822
Viareggio, Italy
Related authors:
Arthur Henry Hallam, John Keats, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley
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Percy Bysshe Shelley - LIFE STORIES
6/19/1816     Frankenstein, Milton & the Computer
On this day in 1816 the Shelleys, Lord Byron and entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva to tell the ghost stories that would trigger Frankenstein. The byways of literature being what they are, this most legendary of storm-tossed evenings has connections backwards to John Milton and forward to the language of computer programming.
11/9/1816     Shelley in Love    read it now!
On this day in 1816 Percy Bysshe Shelley's first wife, Harriet Westbrook, drowned herself. She and Shelley had eloped in 1811 -- he upper-class and nineteen, she the sixteen-year-old daughter of a tavern owner -- but then Shelley eloped with another sixteen-year-old, and Harriet saw few options: "I could never be anything but a source of vexation and misery to you all.... Too wretched to exert myself, lowered in the opinion of everyone, why should I drag on a miserable existence?"
12/1/1821     Tortured Romantics
On this day in 1821 Percy Shelley's "Adonais," his elegy to John Keats, was published in England. A cornerstone of both Romantic poetry and the myth of the Romantic, the poem paints Keats as Adonis in pursuit of Beauty and Truth, brought down by those less noble and talented. This was a fate Shelley (left) predicted for himself, and he died before Keats's gravestone had been erected.
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Complete Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley
by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Editor)
Shelley's Adonais: A Critical Edition
by Anthony D. Knerr, Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays
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Kenneth Neil Cameron, Percy Bysshe Shelley
by Shelley and His Circle
guide, biography, literary history
Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley
by Thomas Jefferson Hogg
Percy Bysshe Shelley
by John Addington Symonds
Wordsworth's Influence on Shelley: A Study of Poetic Authority
by G. Kim Blank
literary history
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Academy of American Poets
Find a biography, poetry, bibliography, and links. Selected poems include "Ode to the West Wind" and "Ozymandias," and fragments from "To the Moon" and "Adonais."

Letters from Italy
Collection of 67 letters by Shelley between 1818 and 1822 while living and traveling in Italy. From the 1840 edition of Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments, edited by Mary Shelley. From a letter to John Gisbourne:

"What think you of Lord Byron's last volume? In my opinion it contains finer poetry than has appeared in England since the publication of Paradise Regained. Cain is apocalyptic—it is a revelation not before communicated to man. ... You know I don't think much about Reviews, nor of the fame they give, nor that they take away. It is absurd in any Review to criticise Adonais, and still more to pretend that the verses are bad. Prometheus was never intended for more than five or six persons."
Neurotic Poets - Percy Bysshe Shelley
This biographical essay focuses on Shelley's marriages to Harriet Westbrook and Mary Godwin, and the ideas of love, democracy and atheism which infuse his writing.

"The spirit of revolution and the power of free thought were Percy Shelley's biggest passions in life. ... At school, Shelley became intrigued with the revolutionary political and philosophical ideas of Thomas Paine and William Godwin. Throughout his life, he emphatically expressed his political and religious views in a struggle against social injustice, often to the point where it got him into trouble or mired in controversy. ... He was a great believer in the idea of the power of the human mind to change circumstances for the better, in a non-violent way."
Romantic Circles: The Shelley Chronology
Offers a chronological timeline of events in Shelley's life. One of many resources on the Romantic Circles website, which features works and articles about Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and others.
The Percy Bysshe Shelley Resource Page
Collection of electronic texts including Shelley's complete prose and poetical works, "The Devil's Walk," and correspondence. A selection of essays on life, love, government, Christianity, "The Necessity of Atheism," and other subjects are also provided. From Declaration of Rights:

"GOVERNMENT has no rights; it is a delegation from several individuals for the purpose of securing their own. It is therefore just, only so far as it exists by their consent, useful only so far as it operates to their well-being. ... The only use of government is to repress the vices of man. If man were to day sinless, to-morrow he would have a right to demand that government and all its evils should cease."
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February 19, 2018
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