Percy Bysshe Shelley , (born Aug. 4, 1792, Field Place, near Horsham , Sussex , Eng.—died July 8, 1822, at sea off Livorno , Tuscany [Italy]), English Romantic poet whose passionate search for personal love and social justice was gradually channeled from overt actions into poems that rank with the greatest in the English language.

Late in August 1811, Shelley eloped with Harriet Westbrook, the younger daughter of a London tavern owner; by marrying her, he betrayed the acquisitive plans of his grandfather and father, who tried to starve him into submission but only drove the strong-willed youth to rebel against the established order. Early in 1812, Shelley, Harriet, and her older sister Eliza Westbrook went to Dublin, where Shelley circulated pamphlets advocating political rights for Roman Catholics, autonomy for Ireland, and freethinking ideals. The couple traveled to Lynmouth, Devon, where Shelley issued more political pamphlets, and then to North Wales, where they spent almost six months in 1812–13.

In March 1817 the Shelleys settled near Peacock at Marlow , where Shelley wrote his twelve-canto romance-epic Laon and Cythna; or, The Revolution of the Golden City and Mary Shelley finished Frankenstein . They compiled History of a Six Weeks’ Tour jointly from the letters and journals of their trips to Switzerland, concluding with “Mont Blanc.” In November, Laon and Cythna was suppressed by its printer and publisher, who feared that Shelley’s idealized tale of a peaceful national revolution, bloodily suppressed by a league of king and priests, violated the laws against blasphemous libel. After revisions, it was reissued in 1818 as The Revolt of Islam .

Neurotic Poets - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Biography and Works. Search Texts.

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