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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 Shelley?s path. Clara was born on September 2, 1817 and died on September 24, 1818 due to dysentery.

Shelley?s last day alive was Monday, July 8, 1822. Shelley, Edward Williams, and a sailor boy named Charles Vivian left Leyhorn sailing the Don Juan to return to San Terenzo. After an extensive search of the coastline between Longhorn and Lerici, the bodies of Shelley and Williams were found washed up three miles apart on the shore near Viareggio. However, because of the quarantine laws the decomposing bodies had to be cremated.

Percy Shelley will be remembered as an icon.


I graduated from Community Christian School in Orange, Texas and now I am enrolled at Sam Houston located in Huntsville, Tx. It is east of Houston. I am a sophomore and enjoy writing papers except research term papers.

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