Shelley Percy 1792 - 1822 (30)

The soul's joy lies in doing.



Percy Shelley was an English romantic poet, born in 1792 in Sussex; he was the son of a wealthy landowner who held the title of baronet. He studied at Eaton from 1804 to 1808 and in 1810 at Oxford University College, from which he was expelled along with his closest friend for disobedience to management, as they refused to apologize for a pamphlet they had published entitled "The Necessity of Atheism ". In 1811 he married and had a daughter and a son, while in 1813 he wrote his first major poem in which he expressed his basic ideas about atheism, anarchism, fraternity, equality. The publishers were afraid of lawsuits and did not publish it, he repriented in several copies and distributed it to acquaintances and friends. In 1814 he fell in love with his mentor's 17-year-old daughter, Mary Godwin (later Mary Selley) and left with her for Switzerland and France. He sent letters to his wife inviting her to live with them, to be a loving companion as he characteristically wrote to her but she refused and in December 181, she committed suicide by falling into the lake of Hyde Park.

Percy married Mary; they had a son who died when he was 3 years old. In the summer of that year, 1816, they were by the Lake Geneva with Lord Byron and Mary's stepdaughter, Claire, who became pregnant by Byron. In 1817 Mary gave birth to a daughter who died within a year while in 1820 they had another son, their only child who survived. Percy continued all those years to write poems and to become known in literary circles. They moved to Italy where they formed the circle of Pisa, a group of prominent English, Irish and Greek artists and intellectuals. There, Percy also met Alexandros Mavrokordatos and wrote the lyrical drama Hellas, an anthem about Greece that was fighting for liberation. In July he went sailing but his boat sank and Percy drowned, at the age of 30 , having managed to occupy, mainly with his poetry, an important place in English letters.