Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy b-day, wildman Percy Bysshe Shelley

It is the birthday of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792), who wrote some of the most  popular poems in the English language, including Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, and To a Skylark, though his greatest success came after his death.

Scholars say it was Shelley's unorthodox lifestyle that limited the acceptance of his writing to a rather small circle of friends. At Oxford, Shelley wrote two gothic novels  and read extensively, though it is said he didn't go to class often.

He wrote a pamphlet with a fellow student defending atheism, earning him the scorn of the college administration when he refused to deny that he wrote it. He and his fellow student, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, were expelled. Shelley's father intervened and won him a chance to reenter Oxford if he would state that what he wrote was untrue. He refused, earning him the scorn of his father.

At 19, Shelley eloped with a 16-year-old student from a boarding school, only to abandon her three years later, when she was pregnant with their second child, to run away to Switzerland with the 16-year-old daughter of a writer friend. Mary Godwin was more Shelley's intellectual equal. Later, Shelley's first wife committed suicide and he and Mary were married.

In 1818, Percy and Mary, and her stepsister Claire Clairmont, lived in Italy, where he wrote the lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound, which was based on  a Greek trilogy whose title character steals the secret fire to help mankind progress, only to be punished by Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Shelley's play was never intended to be performed, only read.

It wasn't until several generations after his death that Shelley became widely accepted. He was admired by the later Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets, and by such diverse luminaries as Isadora Duncan, Thomas Hardy, Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Sinclair Lewis, and Oscar Wilde.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 39th annual book fair is set for April 24-26, 2020 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

Subscribe to our emails

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP