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Shelley

Shelley

[shel-ee]
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851, English author; daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814 she fell in love with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, accompanied him abroad, and after the death of his first wife in 1816 was married to him. Her most notable contribution to literature is her novel of terror, Frankenstein, published in 1818. It is the story of a German student who learns the secret of infusing life into inanimate matter and creates a monster that ultimately destroys him. Included among her other novels are Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and the partly autobiographical Lodore (1835). After Shelley's death in 1822, she devoted herself to caring for her aged father and educating her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1839-40 she edited her husband's works.

See her journal (ed. by F. L. Jones, 1947); her letters (ed. by M. Spark and D. Stamford, 1953); biographies by M. Spark (1951, repr. 1988), N. B. Gerson (1973), and M. Seymour (2001); studies by W. A. Walling (1972) and E. Sunstein (1989).

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822, English poet, b. Horsham, Sussex. He is ranked as one of the great English poets of the romantic period.

A Tempestuous Life

The son of a prosperous squire, he entered Oxford in 1810, where readings in philosophy led him toward a study of the empiricists and the modern skeptics, notably William Godwin. In 1811 he and his friend Thomas Jefferson Hogg published their pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism, which resulted in their immediate expulsion from the university. The same year Shelley eloped with 16-year-old Harriet Westbrook, by whom he eventually had two children, Ianthe and Charles.

Supported reluctantly by their fathers, the young couple traveled through Great Britain. Shelley's life continued to be dominated by his desire for social and political reform, and he was constantly publishing pamphlets. His first important poem, Queen Mab, privately printed in 1813, set forth a radical system of curing social ills by advocating the destruction of various established institutions.

In 1814 Shelley left England for France with Mary Godwin, the daughter of William Godwin. During their first year together they were plagued by social ostracism and financial difficulties. However, in 1815 Shelley's grandfather died and left him an annual income. Laon and Cynthna appeared in 1817 but was withdrawn and reissued the following year as The Revolt of Islam; it is a long poem in Spenserian stanzas that tells of a revolution and illustrates the growth of the human mind aspiring toward perfection.

After Harriet Shelley's suicide in 1816, Shelley and Mary officially married. In 1817 Harriet's parents obtained a decree from the lord chancellor stating that Shelley was unfit to have custody of his children. The following year Shelley and Mary left England and settled in Italy. By this time their household consisted of their own three children and Mary's half-sister Claire Clairmont and her daughter Allegra (whose father was Lord Byron). On July 8, 1822, Shelley drowned while sailing in the Bay of Spezia, near Lerici.

Poetry

Shelley composed the great body of his poetry in Italy. The Cenci, a tragedy in verse exploring moral deformity, was published in 1819, followed by his masterpiece, Prometheus Unbound (1820). In this lyrical drama Shelley poured forth all his passions and beliefs, which were modeled after the ideas of Plato. Epipsychidion (1821) is a poem addressed to Emilia Viviani, a young woman whom Shelley met in Pisa and with whom he developed a brief but close friendship.

His great elegy, Adonais (1821), written in memory of Keats, asserts the immortality of beauty. Hellas (1822), a lyrical drama, was inspired by the Greek struggle for independence. His other poems include Alastor (1816) and the shorter poems "Ode to the West Wind," "To a Skylark," "Ozymandias," "The Indian Serenade," and "When the Lamp Is Shattered."

Assessment

Most of Shelley's poetry reveals his philosophy, a combination of belief in the power of human love and reason, and faith in the perfectibility and ultimate progress of humanity. His verse is at once deeply political, sensuous, and passionate, and his lyric poems are superb in their beauty, grandeur, and mastery of language. Although Matthew Arnold labeled him an "ineffectual angel," later critics have taken Shelley seriously, recognizing his wit, his gifts as a satirist, and his influence as a social and political thinker.

Bibliography

See his complete poetical works, ed. by N. Rogers (2 vol., 1972-74); letters, ed. by F. L. Jones (2 vol., 1964); biographies by E. C. Blunden (rev. ed. 1965), J. O. Fuller (1969), N. I. White (2 vol., 1940; repr. 1972), and R. Holmes (1974, new ed. 2003); studies by N. Rogers (2d ed. 1967), H. Bloom (2d ed. 1969), E. R. Wasserman (1971), K. N. Cameron (1974), C. Tomalin (1980), D. King-Hele (1981), S. M. Sperry (1988), and I. Gilmour (2003); K. N. Cameron and D. H. Reiman, ed., Shelley and His Circle (8 vol., 1961-85); A. Wroe, Being Shelley (2007).

Percy Bysshe Shelley, oil painting by Amelia Curran, 1819; in the National Portrait Gallery, London

(born Aug. 4, 1792, Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, Eng.—died July 8, 1822, at sea off Livorno, Tuscany) English Romantic poet. The heir to rich estates, Shelley was a rebellious youth who was expelled from Oxford in 1811 for refusing to admit authorship of The Necessity of Atheism. Later that year he eloped with Harriet Westbrook, the daughter of a tavern owner. He gradually channeled his passionate pursuit of personal love and social justice into poetry. His first major poem, Queen Mab (1813), is a utopian political epic revealing his progressive social ideals. In 1814 he eloped to France with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (see Mary Shelley); in 1816, after Harriet drowned herself, they were married. In 1818 the Shelleys moved to Italy. Away from British politics, he became less intent on social reform and more devoted to expressing his ideals in poetry. He composed the verse tragedy The Cenci (1819) and his masterpiece, the lyric drama Prometheus Unbound (1820), which was published with some of his finest shorter poems, including “Ode to the West Wind” and “To a Skylark.” Epipsychidion (1821) is a Dantean fable about the relationship of sexual desire to spiritual love and artistic creation. Adonais (1821) commemorates the death of John Keats. Shelley drowned at age 29 while sailing in a storm off the Italian coast, leaving unfinished his last and possibly greatest visionary poem, The Triumph of Life.

Learn more about Shelley, Percy Bysshe with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, detail of an oil painting by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; elipsis

(born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.—died Feb. 1, 1851, London) English Romantic novelist. The only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, she met and eloped with Percy B. Shelley in 1814. They married in 1816 after his first wife committed suicide. Mary Shelley's best-known work is Frankenstein (1818), a narrative of the dreadful consequences of a scientist's artificially creating a human being. After her husband's death in 1822, she devoted herself to publicizing his writings and educating their son. Of her several other novels, the best, The Last Man (1826), is an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague.

Learn more about Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, oil painting by Amelia Curran, 1819; in the National Portrait Gallery, London

(born Aug. 4, 1792, Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, Eng.—died July 8, 1822, at sea off Livorno, Tuscany) English Romantic poet. The heir to rich estates, Shelley was a rebellious youth who was expelled from Oxford in 1811 for refusing to admit authorship of The Necessity of Atheism. Later that year he eloped with Harriet Westbrook, the daughter of a tavern owner. He gradually channeled his passionate pursuit of personal love and social justice into poetry. His first major poem, Queen Mab (1813), is a utopian political epic revealing his progressive social ideals. In 1814 he eloped to France with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (see Mary Shelley); in 1816, after Harriet drowned herself, they were married. In 1818 the Shelleys moved to Italy. Away from British politics, he became less intent on social reform and more devoted to expressing his ideals in poetry. He composed the verse tragedy The Cenci (1819) and his masterpiece, the lyric drama Prometheus Unbound (1820), which was published with some of his finest shorter poems, including “Ode to the West Wind” and “To a Skylark.” Epipsychidion (1821) is a Dantean fable about the relationship of sexual desire to spiritual love and artistic creation. Adonais (1821) commemorates the death of John Keats. Shelley drowned at age 29 while sailing in a storm off the Italian coast, leaving unfinished his last and possibly greatest visionary poem, The Triumph of Life.

Learn more about Shelley, Percy Bysshe with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, detail of an oil painting by Richard Rothwell, first exhibited 1840; elipsis

(born Aug. 30, 1797, London, Eng.—died Feb. 1, 1851, London) English Romantic novelist. The only daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, she met and eloped with Percy B. Shelley in 1814. They married in 1816 after his first wife committed suicide. Mary Shelley's best-known work is Frankenstein (1818), a narrative of the dreadful consequences of a scientist's artificially creating a human being. After her husband's death in 1822, she devoted herself to publicizing his writings and educating their son. Of her several other novels, the best, The Last Man (1826), is an account of the future destruction of the human race by a plague.

Learn more about Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Shelley is a city in Bingham County, Idaho, United States. The population was 3,813 at the 2000 census. The mascot for the town's only high school is "King Russet", a russet-burbank potato that wears a crown, robe and scepter.

Since 1927 Shelley has been home to the "Idaho Annual Spud Day", which is celebrated on the 3rd Saturday of September. It typically features a parade, live bands, games (such as a tug of war into a pit of mashed potatoes) and free baked potatoes.

History

Shelley was established in 1904. It was named for John F. Shelley, who moved to the area in 1892. He'd moved to the area intending to open a small store, and needed lumber and other supplies to build it. Since the site was some distance from the nearest existing town he asked the railroad company to make a special stop to offload the supplies he'd ordered. They consented, provided he could offload the supplies in under 20 minutes. His daughter, Lottie, wrote the following in her personal history:

On September 4, 1902 a large fire destroyed seven buildings on State Street. Only two buildings, a general merchandise store and a furniture store, were saved. Soren Yorgensen, a local Justice of the Peace and proprieter of the first hotel in Shelley recounts the experience as follows:

Geography

Shelley is located at (43.379490, -112.123846).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²), all of it land.

Shelley is located on the eastern side of the Snake River, facing the Blackfoot Mountains.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,813 people, 1,201 households, and 989 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,884.5 people per square mile (1,115.3/km²). There were 1,253 housing units at an average density of 947.9/sq mi (366.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.93% White, 0.18% African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.74% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.78% of the population.

There were 1,201 households out of which 48.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.0% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.6% were non-families. 15.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.14 and the average family size was 3.50.

In the city the population was spread out with 35.6% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,318, and the median income for a family was $41,223. Males had a median income of $32,154 versus $20,121 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,921. About 7.9% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

References

External links

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