Shelley, His Life and Work - Vol. 2

Shelley, His Life and Work - Vol. 2

Shelley, His Life and Work - Vol. 2

Shelley, His Life and Work - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The reader of Laon and Cythna , if he be well posted as to the political and industrial situation of England after Waterloo, will see to what an extent the matter of the poem is a reflection of the temper, or the distemper, of the times. The slaughter of the multitude before the gates of the Golden City will be a reminder for him of the use in England in 1817 of cavalry to awe the English people, break up public meetings, and quell discontent. It will remind him of the suspension of Habeas Corpus in that year; and of the sending out of those abominations of the earth, the agents provocateurs whose business was, if they did not find discontent, to create it; and having created it, to betray its leaders to the government. Anxious to bring other men to the block, these miserable men appear to modern eyes as most deserving it in those dark days. These slaves of tyranny did not go about murder openly. Like the assassins who came in the night upon the multitude in slumber under the walls of the Golden City, these creatures moved and struck only in the dark. If this reader, as I have said, sees such things behind the veil of poetry in which Shelley has clothed his own opinions on the political and economic state of England in 1817, he will realize that the next publication by Shelley, of which I must now speak, is but a prose sequel to Laon and Cythna .

On November 5th, 1817, three poor, deluded weavers were executed at Derby for participation in an abortive attempt at an insurrection which had been instigated and directed by . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.