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Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Biography: Exile of Unfulfilled Reknown, 1816-1822

by James Bieri

         ISBN: 0-87413-893-0

         Published in 2005


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This volume of Shelley's biography recounts his final years of greatest creativity and his often-painful emotional and romantic entanglements. Leaving Lord Byron in Switzerland, Shelley returned to England with Mary Godwin, their son, and Mary's ever-present stepsister, Claire Clairmont, pregnant with Byron's daughter. After his wife Harriet's shocking suicide, Shelley married Mary, who completed Frankenstein as he reluctantly revised his blasphemous epic of revolution and incest, Laeon and Cythna. Legally deprived of his two children from his first marriage, Shelley felt ostracized for his radical political, social, and religious beliefs. Financial pressures, attacks by critics, and health concerns prompted Shelley's 1818 move to Italy. In this "Paradise of exiles," Shelley's creative genius reached its zenith. His amazing productivity included major poems, lyrics, extended prose works, and translations, all despite marital strain, depression, and hallucinatory episodes. Now retired, Dr. Bieri taught at the University of Texas at Austin.

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