Percy Bysshe Shelley Biography

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Full name: Percy Bysshe Shelley
Birth Date: 4 August 1792,
Birthplace: Sussex, England
Died: 8 July 1822 (aged 29)
Occupation: Poet, dramatist, and novelist
Literary movement: Romanticism
Education: Eton College
Children: Percy Florence Shelley
Spouse (s): Mary Shelley, Harriet Westbrook

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the greatest English romantic poets in the macrocosm. Shelley was born at Field Place, Horsham, Sussex, England, and was educated at Eton College. On 10 April 1810, he matriculated at University College, Oxford. However, from Oxford, he was sent down in 1811 after circulating a pamphlet on the Necessity of Atheism. Shelley along with his friend, Hogy, was banished from Oxford for the publishing of a pamphlet.

In 1811, he married Harriet Westbrook, who was aged sixteen, and from whom separated after three years to a wandering life, during which he wrote Queen Mab, particularly published in 1821. Actually haunted by imagery from within and harassed by the outer world, Shelley early felt the need for an intellectual order strong enough to withstand both pressures. He found it in the current revolutionary philosophy.

It is the paradox for the young Shelley that he lives half in a world of anarchic fancy, half in the straightest of philosophical waistcoats. His early reading was mostly in the classics of English poetry and a miscellaneous assortment of fantastic and imaginative literature. He was profoundly influenced by Godwin.

At Oxford, he studied philosophy and moral sciences and was drawn into the international stream of rationalist revolutionary thought. It is believed that Godwin’s philosophic anarchism led Shelley and Hog into a campaign against organized religion and society .and the result was The Necessity of Atheism.

Shelley and his wife Mary made a second trip to Switzerland in 1816. Here Shelley met with Lord Byron later they rented neighboring houses on the shores of Lake Geneva. Shelly and Byron discussed each other regularly and Shelley motivated Byron to write an epic poem on the contemporary subject. From this Shelley’s inspiration, Byron wrote Don Juan.

Second marriage: in May 1814, Shelley married Mary. Mary shared his belief that marriage was only a voluntary contract.

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