Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792 and published his first volume of poetry in 1809. He was expelled from Oxford University for his distributing a pamphlet entitled “The Necessity of Atheism.” Four months later, he eloped with and married Harriet Westbrook but later left her for Mary Wollstonecraft, future author of
Frankenstein. Shelley was working on his last major poem, “The Triumph of Life,” when he was drowned in Italy in 1822, aged twenty-nine.
With an Introduction, Notes and Bibliography by Dr Bruce Woodcock, Senior Lecturer in English, University of Hull. Shelley's short, prolific life produced some of the most memorable and well-known lyrics of the Romantic period. But he was also the most radical writer in the English literary tradition of his day, a fiery political visionary committed to social change and progress. The generous selection in this volume represents the wide range of his writing, both poetry and prose. Arranged chronologically, the accompanying introductory essays set Shelley's works in their historical, social and political context. They provide a vivid insight into the life and times of this volcanic spirit whose inspiring voice called on the people of England to: 'Rise like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number; Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many, they are few.' (The Mask of Anarchy)