The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley - Vol. 1

The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley - Vol. 1

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The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley - Vol. 1

The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I send forth these volumes, which have occupied me long, with a sorrow mingled with the happiness of having brought my work to a close. At some time, when or where I cannot now remember, I had expressed my wish to undertake a life of Shelley. Words which I had forgotten were remembered by Sir Henry Taylor, and in the summer of 1883 he invited me, on behalf of Sir Percy and Lady Shelley, to consider whether my wish might not be realized under conditions of peculiar advantage -- the advantage of access to all the manuscripts which form the chief treasures of Boscombe Manor. I had hoped to place a copy of this "Life of Shelley" in Sir Henry Taylor's hands, and to have submitted it, with whatever of merit and of faults there is in it, to the judgment of his kindly wisdom. When tidings of his tranquil death reached me, not certainly my first thought, but one of my earliest thoughts, was perhaps a selfish one.

No man ever can have had more generous helpers than I have had in this work. My first thanks are due to Sir Percy and Lady Shelley. I have had access to all the Shelley papers in their possession, and permission to make use of them without reserve. The most important of these for a biographer -- setting aside the originals of letters already published in whole or in part -- is the journal kept in the main by Mary Shelley, with occasional short intermissions, from the day of her flight with Shelley to the close of his life; kept also from . . .

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