The Life of Percy Bysshe ShelleyA Critical Biography
Wiley Blackwell Critical Biographies 1. Aufl.
Drawing especially on the many scholarly discoveries of recent years, this biography examines the life – and death ? of one of the greatest Romantic poets. Based on sceptical historical investigation and featuring an in-depth look at Shelley’s personal, financial and familial situation, it builds a compelling narrative about a controversial writer and thinker whose personal and philosophical convictions caused much turmoil during his short yet extraordinarily influential life. The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley reveals sides of the author not often studied. It looks at Shelley as an intensely loving, thoughtful and responsible man and father, who (except in one case) took exemplary care of the women he loved and who fell in love with him. It shows how significant his status as a gentleman was; it examines his poetry, letters, notebooks and discursive prose so that readers can comprehend the most important concerns of his life; it explores the financial and medical grounds for his years of exile; it is also the first biography to take account of his recently discovered early long poem the Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things. This biography offers readers a unique look at a famous poet, scholar, gentleman, democrat, atheist and tragic icon of English Romanticism.
List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgements xi Abbreviations and Texts xiii Foreword xvii Part I Background, Foreground 1792–1811 1 1 A Scholar, a Gentleman, and a Poet 1792 –1810 3 2 ‘Bit’ 1796 –1811 12 3 Panting to Seize the Wings of Morn 1810 –1811 21 4 Printing Freaks 1810 –1811 32 5 The Necessity of Atheism, Expulsion & Debt 1811 43 Part II Lover of Mankind, Democrat & Atheist 1811–1818 55 6 A Shelley Business! 1811 57 7 My New Sister 1811 –1813 67 8 Tan?yr?allt 1813 78 9 Queen Mab: Shadows of the Dream 1812 –1813 83 10 A Rash & Heartless Union 1813 –1814 96 11 Mary Godwin 1814 103 12 This is a Vampire 1814 –1815 113 13 Alastor 1815 –1816 124 14 Geneva and Byron 1816 135 15 A Series of Pain 1816 149 16 Drowned, Frozen, Dead 1816 158 17 Laon and Cythna: Writing against Death 1817 167 18 My Country Dear to Me Forever 1817 –1818 180 Part III Expatriation 1818–1821 191 19 Italy: As Light in the Sun, Throned 1818 193 20 Flowering Islands 1818 207 21 A Birth in Naples 1818 –1819 222 22 Exceeding Grief: The Cenci 1819 230 23 Prometheus Unbound 1819 240 24 Satiric Reality 1819 248 25 Beam?Anatomising Prism 1819 –1820 258 26 Harmonious Madness 1820 268 27 Swellfoot the Tyrant 1820 280 28 Epipsychidion v. Flesh & Blood 1820–1821 291 29 Defending Poetry 1821 302 30 This Latest of my Orphans 1821 313 Part IV No Rest or Respite 1821–1822 321 31 Ariel to Miranda 1821 –1822 323 32 To the Villa Magni 1822 335 33 ‘The Triumph of Life’ 1822 342 34 Enchanted Heart 1822 349 35 Upon a Precipice 1822 362 36 Going to Join Friend Plato 1822 370 37 Beyond this Life 379 Notes 393 Bibliography 448 Index 457
JOHN WORTHEN is Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK. His books include The Life of William Wordsworth: A Critical Biography (2014); The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2010); T. S. Eliot: A Short Biography (2009); Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician (2007); and D. H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider (2005).
BLACKWELL CRITICAL BIOGRAPHIES General Editor – Claude Rawson "John Worthen's literary biography is beautifully written, thoughtful, compact, and well-researched. Firmly grounded in the facts of Shelley's mundane existence (it goes more deeply into the intricacies of his finances than any biography I have read) it never forgets that the reason for our interest in these is that he was a great poet and prose writer. Here will be found stimulating re-evaluations, fresh insights, and provocation. But even when readers disagree with the conclusions he draws from the evidence, they will rise from this book braced, moved, and with a renewed sense of the exceptional nature of Shelley's career and of his extraordinary genius." Nora Crook, Anglia Ruskin University Drawing on the many scholarly discoveries of recent years, this biography examines the life and death of one of the greatest Romantic poets. Based on sceptical historical investigation and featuring an in-depth look at Shelley's personal, financial and familial situation, John Worthen builds a compelling narrative about a controversial writer and thinker whose personal and philosophical convictions caused much turmoil during his short yet extraordinarily influential life. The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley: Takes into account – the first biography to do so – Shelley's recently discovered poem, the Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things Examines his poetry, letters, notebooks and discursive prose, allowing readers access to the most intimate and important concerns of his life Explores the financial and medical grounds for his years in exile Offers readers a unique look at a famous poet, scholar, gentleman, democrat, atheist and tragic icon of English Romanticism.
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