New Shelley Letters

New Shelley Letters

New Shelley Letters

New Shelley Letters

Excerpt

In Shelley's poetical 'Letter to Maria Gisborne' occur the following lines:

You will see HUNT--one of those happy souls
Which are the salt of the earth . . .
You will see HOGG,--and I cannot express
His virtues,--though I know that they are great,
Because he locks, then barricades the gate
Within which they inhabit;--of his wit
And wisdom, you'll cry out when you are bit.
He is a pearl within an oyster shell,
One of the richest of the deep;--and there
Is English PEACOCK with his mountain fair
Turned into a Flamingo;--that shy bird
That gleams i' the Indian air. . . .

These letters consist for the most part of correspondence between the Hogg of the above lines, their author, and the other two referred to therein, as well as a considerable number written to Hogg by Shelley's second wife, Mary Woolstonecraft Godwin, over a period of many years, both before and after her marriage with the poet.

These letters have hitherto been available only in my books 'The Athenians', 'Harriet and Mary' and 'Shelley at Oxford', which were published in small limited editions, and it is my hope that the publication of the letters in one volume may make them more widely known. I have omitted all explanatory notes except those in this Introduction, so that the letters may speak for themselves.

Letter 4 is here printed for the first time from the original . . .

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