Author, poet, philosopher, etc. born in England on August 4, 1792. In the early 1800's Shelley attended the Syon House Academy, Eton, and Oxford. During his enrollment at Oxford Shelley wrote "The Necessity of Atheism" which he sent to bishops, college authorities, etc. as well as posting it around the campus. For this he would be expelled. In 1811 Shelley eloped with sixteen year old Harriet Westbrook with whom he would have two children, Lanthe and Charles. Around the time of the birth of his first child, Shelley published his first poem, Queen Mab.

In 1814 Shelley, while still married to Harriet, met and fell in love with Mary Godwin (who also happened to be sixteen at the time). They basically reveled in pure adulterated fun (which resulted in their first child, William) for several years and then in 1816 Harriet committed suicide. About a month later Percy and Mary wed. A year later Percy was sued and deemed unfit to raise the two children he had with Harriet. Shelley and wife then moved to Italy. Shortly after moving Mary's Frankenstein was published. This is also the time Percy published most of his definitive works, including Rosalind and Helen, The Cenci, Prometheus Unbound, etc.

Percey Bysshe Shelley died in a boating accident on the Mediterranean on July 8, 1822. He was cremated and buried in Rome. A monument to Mary and Percy Shelley was built in 1854.

noded works:

Spoon River Anthology
Edgar Lee Masters

Sarah Brown << --- >> Flossie Cabanis

Percy Bysshe Shelley

MY father who owned the wagon-shop
And grew rich shoeing horses
Sent me to the University of Montreal.
I learned nothing and returned home,
Roaming the fields with Bert Kessler,
Hunting quail and snipe.
At Thompson's Lake the trigger of my gun
Caught in the side of the boat
And a great hole was shot through my heart.
Over me a fond father erected this marble shaft,
On which stands the figure of a woman
Carved by an Italian artist.
They say the ashes of my namesake
Were scattered near the pyramid of Caius Cestius
Somewhere near Rome.

Source: Project Gutenberg

Context and death and Percy Shelley

Half of the Great English Romantic poets died young and surrounded by tragedy. John Keats died of Tuberculosis at 26. Gordon “The Lord” Byron was 36 when he died from over leeching while fighting a cold. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Blake all died at 71, 62, and 70 respectively.

Percy Shelley was 29 when he drowned after his boat sank off the coast of Italy. After Percy's body washed ashore his wife and friends cremated him on a beach near where he was found. His wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, kept Percy's heart.

29 years after her husband's death Mary Shelley died of brain cancer. When they went through her stuff they found Percy’s heart wrapped in pages of Adonais, a poem Percy had written for Keats after his death. As junkets notes in the Adonais node, the last lines of the poem are prophetic of Percy's own death, which occurred one year after he wrote the poem.

Mary Shelley was actually Percy’s second wife. His first wife, Harriet Westbrook, was pregnant when she drowned herself in London’s Hyde Park at the age of 20. She had married Percy four years before but he left her for Mary.

Percy and Mary Shelley had two children named Clara and William. They died at the ages of one and three. They died nine months apart from each other. Mary had had a miscarriage three years before. Mary Shelley’s mother, proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, died due to complications after giving birth to Mary. Only one of the Shelley's children, Percy Florence, survived until adulthood. He lived into his 70s.

Abrams, M.H. ed. The Norton Anthology of Literature seventh edition, vol 2. 2000
Wasserman, Earl R. Shelley: A Critical Reading. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1971
Swann, Karen Romanticism and the Insistence of the Aesthetic: Shelley's Pod People
World, The Wikipedia

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