Percy Shelley (1792-1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets. This biography of emphasises the political, revolutionary side of his dramatic life.
Shelley has long been revered for his poems To A Skylark and The Mask of Anarchy, but this was not always the case. During his short and tragic life he was regarded with loathing as an immoral atheist and his work received damning reviews as a result.
His was a story of extremes - his radical ideas were unusual as he was the son of a wealthy landowner and set to become a Whig MP. Today, a focus on his belief in sexual freedom and vegetarianism often eclipses his informed internationalist and revolutionary politics.
Admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats and Karl Marx, Shelley's legacy remains with us today - his words have been used by popular movements from the Chartists and the Suffragettes to Tiananmen Square, the Poll Tax protesters and modern Greek solidarity movements.
Jacqueline Mulhallen wrote and performed in the plays Sylvia and Rebels and Friends and is the author of Percy Bysshe Shelley: Poet and Revolutionary (Pluto, 2015) and The Theatre of Shelley (Open Book Publishers, 2010). She contributed a chapter on Shelley to The Oxford Handbook to Georgian Theatre (OUP, 2014), which was shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize 2015.
'Humankind needed Shelley back then, and this book reminds us of how much we need him now. It is an honest look at a truly revolutionary life' - Benjamin Zephaniah
'I love reading. I'm about to start Percy Bysshe Shelley: Poet and Revolutionary by Jacqueline Mulhallen' - Jeremy Corbyn
'A compelling and eye-opening study. Reminds us of Shelley's robust socio-political vision, that remains as relevant and vital for our own volatile times' - Stephen C. Behrendt; George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English, University of Nebraska
'Fresh, clear and compelling, this is the best compact account of Percy Bysshe Shelley's revolutionary life currently available' - Nicholas Roe, Professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews
'Highly readable, this is an absorbing study of Shelley's life, thought, and writing. Jacqueline Mulhallen has written a valuable book' - Michael O’Neill, Professor of English, Durham University
'A fresh and impassioned account of the significance of Shelley's radical life and writings. A fine and highly readable achievement' - Michael Rossington, Professor of Romantic Literature, Newcastle University
'An excellent biographical account of Shelley's political radicalism ... that brings a contemporary radical sensibility into bracing conjunction with nineteenth-century history' - Philip Connell, Romantic Circles
'Lively, well-paced and highly readable ... packed with fascinating insights into Shelley's times' - Counterfire
'Enjoyable' - Peace News
'Illuminating ... [a] stimulating introduction to Shelley's life and radical politics' - Romantic Circles
1. Shelley’s Family Background and Education: 1792-1811
2. The Lake District, Ireland and Devon: 1811-13
3. Tremadog, Queen Mab and the ‘Hermit of Marlow’: 1813-18
4. Italy and Shelley’s Annus Mirabilis: 1818-19
5. Satire and Drama: 1819-22
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9780745334615
eBook ISBN: 9781783717033