Major Works

ISBN-10: 0199538972

ISBN-13: 9780199538973

Edition: 2009

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Description: This major new edition, originally commissioned for the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode, brings together a unique combination of Shelley's poetry and prose - the lyric poems, plays, longer poems, criticism, and essays - to give the essence of his work and thinking.Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was a Romantic poet of radical imaginings, living in an age of change. His tempestuous life and friendship with Byron, and his tragically early death, at times threatened to overwhelm his legacy as a poet, but today his standing as one of the foremost English authors is assured. This freshly edited anthology - the fullest one-volume selection in English - includes all but one of the longer poems, from Queen Mab onwards, in their entirety. OnlyLaon and Cythna is excerpted, in a generous selection. As well as works such asPrometheus Unbound, The Mask of Anarchy, and Adonais, the volume includes a wide range of Shelley's shorter poems and much of his major prose, including A Defence of Poetry and almost all of A Philosophical View of Reform. Shelleyemerges from these pages as a passionate and eloquent opponent of tyranny and a champion of human possibility.

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/15/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 880
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Born in Field Place, near Horsham in Sussex, Shelley was educated at Syon House Academy and Eton, where he acquired the sobriquet "Mad Shelley" for his independent spirit. While at Eton he published Zastrozzi (1810), a Gothic novel. Expelled from Oxford because he refused to retract his atheistic beliefs, Shelley quarreled with his wealthy father and was banished from home. Shelley married impulsively and then abandoned his young wife to run off to Italy with the 16-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (the daughter of the radical feminist and the anarchist philosopher, who was eventually to write Frankenstein). While in Italy, Shelley became close friends with Byron, and the two became objects of endless, notorious rumor. Shelley's personal character was revered by almost everyone who knew him. Extremely generous toward others, frugal with himself, he strove tirelessly for the betterment of humanity. Prometheus Unbound (1820), a lyrical drama in four acts, calls for the regeneration of society through love and for the destruction of all repressive institutions. The Cenci (1819), a verse drama based on real events, is one of the few plays from the romantic period still produced. Shelley's lyrics are marvelously varied and rich in sound and rhythm. Wordsworth regarded him as the best artist among living poets.Adonais (1821), written to honor the memory of John Keats, is one of the supreme elegies in English.The Triumph of Life, which was left incomplete at his death, has been hailed by T. S. Eliot as the nearest approach in English to Dante (see Vol. 2). The "Ode to the West Wind" and "To a Skylark" are anthologized everywhere. Shelley's early death by drowning ended his career just as it was coming into full flower. A revolutionary in his art and life, Shelley is considered by many to be an inspired polemicist and poetic genius. As one of his contemporaries wrote in Etonian (1821), "He is one of the many whom we cannot read without wonder, or without pain. . . ."

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