'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the leading English Romantics and is critically regarded among the finest lyric poets in the English language. His major works include the long visionary poems 'Prometheus Unbound' and 'Adonais', an elegy on the death of John Keats. His shorter, classic verses include 'To a Skylark', 'Mont Blanc' and 'Ode to the West Wind'. This important new edition collects his best poetry and prose, revealing how his writings weave together the political, personal, visionary and idealistic.
This Penguin Classics edition includes a fascinating introduction, notes and other materials by leading Shelley scholars, Jack Donovan and Cian Duffy.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Shelley's life and works
* Concise introductions to the poetry and other works
* Images of how the poetry books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the poems
* Special chronological and alphabetical contents tables for the poetry
* Easily locate the poems you want to read
* Includes Shelley's novels and essays - spend hours exploring the author’s prose works
* Also includes Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, which some critics believe was a collaboration between husband and wife
* Features a bonus biography - discover Shelley's literary life
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
The Poetry Collections
ORIGINAL POETRY BY VICTOR AND CAZIRE
POSTHUMOUS FRAGMENTS OF MARGARET NICHOLSON
POEMS FROM ST. IRVYNE; OR, THE ROSICRUCIAN.
THE DEVIL’S WALK: A BALLAD
THE REVOLT OF ISLAM
ROSALIND AND HELEN
JULIAN AND MADDALO: A CONVERSATION
PETER BELL THE THIRD
THE MASK OF ANARCHY
THE WITCH OF ATLAS
THE DAEMON OF THE WORLD
LETTER TO MARIA GISBORNE
THE TRIUMPH OF LIFE
LIST OF POEMS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
The Poetic Dramas
FRAGMENTS OF AN UNFINISHED DRAMA
CHARLES THE FIRST
ST IRVYNE; OR, THE ROSICRUCIAN
FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
LIST OF ESSAYS
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY by John Addington Symonds
This selection of many of Shelley’s best-known and most representative poems will give readers an exciting encounter with one of the most original and stimulating figures in English poetry. Thirty-seven poems of varying lengths are included, among them such well-known verses as "Adonais," "Ode to the West Wind," "Ozymandias," "The Cloud," "To a Skylark" "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," and "Arethusa."
I have been chary of gratuitous interference with the punctuation of the manuscripts and early editions; in this direction, however, some revision was indispensable. Even in his most carefully finished "fair copy" Shelley under-punctuates (Thus in the exquisite autograph "Hunt MS." of "Julian and Maddalo", Mr. Buxton Forman, the most conservative of editors, finds it necessary to supplement Shelley's punctuation in no fewer than ninety-four places.), and sometimes punctuates capriciously. In the very act of transcribing his mind was apt to stray from the work in hand to higher things; he would lose himself in contemplating those airy abstractions and lofty visions of which alone he greatly cared to sing, to the neglect and detriment of the merely external and formal element of his song. Shelley recked little of the jots and tittles of literary craftsmanship; he committed many a small sin against the rules of grammar, and certainly paid but a halting attention to the nice distinctions of punctuation. Thus in the early editions a comma occasionally plays the part of a semicolon; colons and semicolons seem to be employed interchangeably; a semicolon almost invariably appears where nowadays we should employ the dash; and, lastly, the dash itself becomes a point of all work, replacing indifferently commas, colons, semicolons or periods. Inadequate and sometimes haphazard as it is, however, Shelley's punctuation, so far as it goes, is of great value as an index to his metrical, or at times, it may be, to his rhetorical intention—for, in Shelley's hands, punctuation serves rather to mark the rhythmical pause and onflow of the verse, or to secure some declamatory effect, than to indicate the structure or elucidate the sense. For this reason the original pointing has been retained, save where it tends to obscure or pervert the poet's meaning. Amongst the Editor's Notes at the end of the Volume 3 the reader will find lists of the punctual variations in the longer poems, by means of which the supplementary points now added may be identified, and the original points, which in this edition have been deleted or else replaced by others, ascertained, in the order of their occurrence. In the use of capitals Shelley's practice has been followed, while an attempt has been made to reduce the number of his inconsistencies in this regard.
Shelley's early profession of atheism in this tract not only led to his expulsion from Oxford but also branded him as a radical agitator and thinker, setting an early pattern of marginalisation and ostracism from the intellectual and political circles of his time. Though Shelley's poetry and prose output remained steady throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish his work for fear of being arrested themselves for blasphemy or sedition.
Shelley did not live to see success and influence in his time, although these reach down to the present day not only in literature, but in major movements in social and political thought.
Historical appendices provide context for Shelley’s political and philosophical ideas, contemporary feminism, and the treatment of Asia and the Middle East in Romantic literature.
Long before the famous correspondence between Byron and Lady Melbourne began, she had impressed her own contemporaries as a woman of no small signficance. Married off to the son of a wealthy lawyer, she used her superior education, attention to detail, and business acumen to manage her amiable but dissolute husband's affairs.
A leading female agriculturist, she was the Duchess of Devonshire's closest confidante, as well as the mistress of the Prince of Wales (1780–84). At her residence in Piccadilly, she entertained a brilliant company that included Charles James Fox, George Canning, and Charles Grey. A half dozen of the nation's most famous painters executed her portrait in oil, while Sheridan recorded her witty repartee in The School for Scandal. Scholars of the Romantic period will welcome reading these carefully annotated letters written by one of the age's most ambitious and captivating personalities.
Shelley took William Godwin's idea of "necessity" and combined it with his own idea of ever-changing nature, to establish the theory that contemporary societal evils would dissolve naturally in time. This was to be coupled with the creation of a virtuous mentality in people who could envision the ideal goal of a perfect society. The ideal was to be reached incrementally, because Shelley (as a result of Napoleon's actions in the French Revolution), believed that the perfect society could not be obtained immediately through violent revolution. Instead it was to be achieved through nature's evolution and ever-greater numbers of people becoming virtuous and imagining a better society.
He set the press and ran 250 copies of this radical and revolutionary tract. Queen Mab was infused with scientific language and naturalising moral prescriptions for an oppressed humanity in an industrialising world. He intended the poem to be private and distributed it among his close friends and acquaintances. About 70 sets of the signatures were bound and distributed personally by Shelley, and the rest were stored at William Clark's bookshop in London. A year before his death, in 1821, one of the shopkeepers caught sight of the remaining signatures. The shopkeeper bound the remaining signatures, printed an expurgated edition, and distributed the pirated editions through the black market. The copies were–in the words of Richard Carlisle– "pounced upon," by the Society for the Prevention of Vice. Shelley was dismayed upon discovering the piracy of what he considered to be not just a juvenile production but a work that could potentially "injure rather than serve the cause of freedom." He sought an injunction against the shopkeeper, but since the poem was considered illegal, he was not entitled to the copyright. William Clark was imprisoned for 4 months for publishing and distributing Queen Mab.