'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.
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.