Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Shelley was one of the leading poets of the Romantic age. His images evoke the Romantics' fascination with nature, innocence and discovery. Poems like Queen Mab, Epipsychidion and Ozymandias (the guy really knew how to choose a title, huh?) are classics of English literature.
Shelley was given to what his father disapprovingly called "printing freaks" - passionate screeds on whatever topic gripped his sensibilities at the moment. He was kicked out of Oxford for the pro-atheist missive The Necessity of Atheism, and wrote essays on subjects from vegetarianism to the nature of poetry.
Shelley never intended this unusual drama to be performed on the stage. Instead, it is the reader's task to create the images in his or her own imagination. Shelley's play is about the mythical figure of Prometheus and the abuse he endures at the hands of Zeus. Prometheus was a popular figure in the Shelley household: the subtitle of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is "The Modern Prometheus."
The adventurer E. J. Trelawny befriended Byron and Shelley a few years before Shelley died. He wrote two different memoirs of his times with the poets. There is some dispute over the accuracy of his accounts, given that he wrote the memoirs several decades after the events took place. Also, Shelley comes out looking a lot better than Lord Byron, whom Trelawny disliked.
Percy Bysshe Shelley and his friend Lord Byron were the twin stars of English Romanticism. Though Byron's fame overshadowed Shelley's during their lifetimes, today scholars examine the two poets side by side.
Biographer Richard Holmes gathered possibly every known fact about Shelley for this doorstop of a book. Holmes, an accomplished biographer of poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, traveled for years to recreate every step of Shelley's life that he could. He published The Pursuit when he was only 29 years old.
Why should you read Frankenstein, the novel by Shelley's wife Mary? It's the first modern horror novel, inspiring generations of scary stories and science fiction. This book made Mary Shelley famous enough that she didn't even need to publish her name on future books - just "The Author of Frankenstein."