Percy Bysshe Shelley Essay

This essay has a total of 696 words and 4 pages.

Percy Bysshe Shelley



On August 4th 1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley was born to Timothy and Elizabeth Pillford at
Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex. Timothy was a member of the Parliament and was the son
of Bysshe Shelley. In 1806, he was christened Sir Bysshe Shelley, Baronet. Percy Shelley
had five sisters and one brother.

In 1802, Shelley attended an all-boys school titled Syon House Academy at Isleworth, which
was close to London. After the Academy, he continued his education by attending Eton where
he published his first gothic novel during his last term in the spring of 1810 entitled,
Zastrozzi: A Romance. He then enrolled at Oxford University College in 1810. In October of
the same year, he met a life long friend named Thomas Jefferson Hogg. In December, he had
his second romance novel published that he had written between the fall of 1809 and the
spring of 1810 called St. Irvyne: or, The Rosicrucian.. The next month Hogg helped him
with a paper titled “The Necessity of Atheism”. Due to the Christian beliefs of the
school they were expelled from Oxford University on March 25th. Shelley eloped with
Harriet Westbrook in Edinburgh on August 29th. Early in October he decided to visit his
family in York which left Hogg and Harriet alone together. Disappointedly, Hogg tried to
seduce Harriet therefore Shelley came home to get his family and take them to Keswick,
Cumberland.

The couple’s first child was born when Harriet gave birth to Ianthe Shelley on June 23,
1813. After the birth her interests started to change and she did not depend on Shelley
as much as she did before and they grew apart. During this time Shelley went on trips to
visit William Godwin, a philosopher, and was engaged in raising money for him for the
Tremadoc embankment. At Godwin’s home he was able to spend time with Mary Wollstonecraft
Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Mary and William Godwin. Shelley’s alienation
from Harriet made him closer to Mary. In June of 1814, Mary and Shelley declared their
love for one another, which brought an end to not only his commitment with Harriet but
also his career as an activist reformer. Years later he turned more and more to
literature. While in debt, because of giving money to Godwin and torn between his
obligation to Harriet and his love to Mary, he attempted suicide. When he recovered, Mary
and Shelley decided that they could not be kept away from each other. They eloped in
France on the night of July 27th. The marriage was then legalized on December 30, 1816.

On November 30, 1814, Harriet gave birth to Shelley’s first son, Charles. Shelley visited
his wife and children often; but that was not what he wanted. He wanted to have Harriet
come and live with him and his wife, Mary. He told Harriet that even though he didn’t love
her passionately he still loved her as a best friend. The next year, on February 22, 1815,
Mary gave birth to Shelley’s third child, a daughter born two months premature and died
two weeks later. Not long after that tragedy, Harriet committed suicide on November 9,
1816. She left a letter behind explaining that her death was because of Shelley’s
betrayal to her. The death of his second daughter was another tragedy that plagued
Continues for 2 more pages >>