HomeEnterpreneursWritersPercy Shelley Was A Great Writer And His Work Aligns With Perfection

Percy Shelley Was A Great Writer And His Work Aligns With Perfection

Intro & Mini Bio

One of the 19th century’s greatest epic poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley is most recognized for his timeless anthology verse pieces, including The Masque of Anarchy and Ode to the West Wind. His long-form poetry, such as Queen Mab and Alastor, is also well known. With Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, his second wife, he embarked on numerous adventures. Percy Shelley poems are a great joy for the poem-loving people.

Percy Shelley Early Life

August 4, 1792, saw the birth of controversial English writer Percy Bysshe Shelley, a man of strong personal conviction. In the village of Broadbridge Heath, which is just outside of West Sussex, he was born and reared in the English countryside. In the meadows around his house, he picked up hunting and fishing skills. He frequently surveyed the fields and rivers alongside his close friend and cousin, Thomas Medwin. Elizabeth Pilfold and Timothy Shelley, a squire and member of Parliament, were his parents. At the age of ten, Shelley, the eldest of their seven children, left home to attend Syon House Academy, which is located roughly 50 miles north of Broadbridge Heath and 10 miles west of central London. He enrolled at Eton College two years later. He endured severe physical and psychological bullying from his classmates while he was there. Shelley withdrew into his thoughts. In less than a year, he released two books of poetry and two novels, St. Irvyne and Posthumous Fragments of Margaret Nicholson. Percy Shelley poems are a great inspiration for upcoming poets. 

Shelly enrolled at University College, Oxford, in the fall of 1810. After several months, a dean insisted that Shelley come to his office, even though it didn’t seem like a better academic setting for him than Eton. A pamphlet titled The Necessity of Atheism was co-authored by Shelley and his friend Thomas Jefferson Hogg. The faculty was horrified and shocked by its premise, which states, “The mind cannot believe in the existence of a God.” As a result, the university required the two boys to either admit or deny writing the book. Shelley was banished for doing neither.

Shelley’s parents demanded that their son give up his beliefs in vegetarianism, political radicalism, and sexual freedom because they were so frustrated with their son’s behavior. Shelley eloped in August 1811 with 16-year-old Harriet Westbrook, whom his parents had expressly forbade him from seeing. The hope that he could prevent her from taking her own life was the core of his love for her. They ran away together, but Shelley soon lost patience with her and developed feelings for Elizabeth Hitchener, a schoolteacher who served as the model for Queen Mab, his first significant poem. The title character of the poem, a fairy that William Shakespeare first created and is depicted in Romeo and Juliet, explains what an earthly utopia would look like. 

Shelley started penning political pamphlets in addition to long-form poetry, which he delivered via paper boats, glass bottles, and hot air balloons. He first met William Godwin, the radical political philosopher and author of Political Justice, in 1812. Godwin would later become his mentor.

Percy Florence Shelley

The name of Percy Florence Shelley was from 1819 to 1889. Named after his birth in Florence during his parents’ Italian vacation, Percy Bysshe Shelley was the sole surviving child of Mary and Percy. Providing for his appropriate education and future opportunities was a primary factor in Mary’s decision to move to England. Although he did not share his father’s intellectual enthusiasm, he went to Eton and Oxford like his father. Following his grandfather Sir Timothy’s passing in 1844, he ascended to the baronetcy. He wed Jane St. John in 1848, who came to supervise the building of his parents’ Victorian reputations and was a fervent admirer of both. A conservative candidate for parliament, Sir Percy Florence, was in the background. It’s probably a good thing he lost for the family’s later reputation. 

Relationships With Harriet And Mary

The young couple shared two children, despite Percy Shelley and Harriet’s tumultuous relationship. In June of 1813, at the age of 21, Shelley gave birth to their daughter, Elizabeth Ianthe. Shelley left his wife and started seeing another young woman right away before their second child was born. Mary, the daughter of Godwin, Shelley’s cherished mentor, and Mary Wollstonecraft, the well-known feminist author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, was his new love interest. She was intelligent and astute. Godwin surprised Shelley by saying that he did not want Shelley to date his daughter. Godwin was so unhappy that he would not speak to Mary again for the following three years. Mary’s sister Jane accompanied Shelley and Mary as they fled to Paris. 

After leaving London by ship, they toured France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland primarily on foot. During their travels, they frequently read aloud to one another passages from Rousseau and Shakespeare.

When the three did eventually get back home, Percy Shelley’s wife and Mary were both expecting. Harriet lost all hope when she learned that Mary was expecting a child. She filed for divorce from Shelley and demanded full custody of their kids as well as alimony. Charles, Harriet’s second child by Shelley, was born in November 1814. Mary gave birth to a daughter three months later. After only a few weeks, the baby passed away. William was their son, born in 1816 to Mary.

Being a committed vegetarian, Shelley wrote numerous books on nutrition and spirituality, such as A Vindication of Natural Diet (1813). Shelley’s 720-line poem Alastor, also known as The Spirit of Solitude, was written in 1815 and is now regarded as his best-known composition. Shelley’s grandfather left him an annual allowance of 1,000 British pounds when he passed away that same year.

The Demise Of Harriet And Percy Shelley’s Second Marriage

When Percy Shelley and Mary arrived back in England in the fall of 1816, they discovered that Fanny Imlay, Mary’s half-sister, had taken her own life. It was found that Harriet had also killed herself in December of that same year. In London’s Hyde Park, by the Serpentine River, she was discovered drowned. Mary and Shelley were eventually married a few weeks later. The news delighted Mary’s father, who welcomed his daughter back into the family. But while they were having fun, Shelley was being pursued by loss. The courts decided that Shelley should not have custody of their children after Harriet passed away, reasoning that the kids would be better off with foster parents.

After settling these issues, Percy Shelley and Mary relocated to the Buckinghamshire village of Marlow. There, Shelley made the talented poets and writers John Keats and Leigh Hunt her friends. Their discussions with Shelley inspired him to pursue writing for himself. He penned Laon and Cythna; or, The Revolution of the Golden City, sometime around 1817. His publishers objected to the central plot, which revolves around incestuous couples. It was asked of him to revise it and come up with a new title for the piece. He republished it as The Revolt of Islam in 1818. The poem’s focus is religion in general and incorporates socialist political themes, despite the title’s suggestion that it is about Islam.

Percy Shelley’s Lifestyle In Italy

The Revolt of Islam was published, and soon after, Percy Shelley, Mary, and Clairmont departed for Italy. Clairmont was on a mission to visit Byron, who was residing in Venice, with their daughter Allegra. Shelley and Mary moved from city to city for the next few years. Their baby daughter Clara Everina passed away while they were in Venice. Their son William also died a year later. Prometheus Unbound was written by Shelley around this period. In 1819, while they were living in Livorno, he penned The Cenci and The Masque of Anarchy and Men of England as a reaction to the English Peterloo Massacre.

Percy Shelley Death And Legacy 

Shortly before turning thirty, on July 8, 1822, Shelley perished while returning from Livorno to Lerici in his schooner. Before that, he had met with Hunt to talk about their recently published journal, The Liberal. The majority of newspapers declared Shelley’s death to be an accident despite contradicting evidence. Others, however, surmised that he might have been killed by an enemy who despised his political views based on the scene that was found on the boat’s deck.

On the beach in Viareggio where Shelley’s body had washed up, his remains were cremated. As was customary at the time for women, Mary chose not to attend her husband’s funeral. The Protestant Cemetery in Rome is where Shelley’s ashes are buried. Percy Shelley death was a mourning for the world of writers.  He was honored in Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner more than a century later.

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