Shelley – Percy Bysshe

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English Poet Shelley

SHELLEY: Percy Bysshe 1792 – 1822

Born: 4 August 1792 Horsham, Sussex
Died: 8 July 1822 Italy (Drowned)


Shelley’s second wife was Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. He went to Eton where he was bullied unmercifully and he took recourse in his imagination. He was expelled from Oxford for co-authoring a pamphlet titled The Necessity of Atheism. He eloped with 16 year old Harriet Westbrook and by the age of 21 had a daughter, but his wife bored him and he abandoned her! He then fell in love with Mary and due to her parent’s disapproval of the relationship chose to tour Europe with her for three years. On their return to the UK, Mary fell pregnant as did Harriet who promptly divorced him and later committed suicide. There is speculation that his death by drowning was not an accident.


“A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.”
“When my cats aren’t happy, I’m not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they’re just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.”
“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”

Selected Bibliography
Shelley wrote in excess of 300 poems in his short lifetime.

Poetry (* Famous poems)

* Ode to the West Wind: O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being
* Ozymandias: I met a traveller from an antique land
* Ode to a Skylark: Hail to thee, blithe spirit–
* The Cloud: I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
* Good Night: Good night? Ah! No; the hour is ill which severs those it should unite