Percy Bysshe Shelley is for me, the truest of romantics. His works are ripe with his talent and spoke of a genius born out his search for elusive ideal. The silly thing could have been said to be in love with being in love but his misery made for stunning poems. He was meant for a different time, perhaps 1969 when free love reigned for our dear Percy did not understand sexual possessiveness. He eloped with Harriet Westbrook when he was nineteen and she sixteen only to elope with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin while still married to Harriet. He was a fellow plagued with bad judgement who came to a tragic end shortly before his thirtieth birthday. Percy's work is worth knowing.
...Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Thomas Love Peacock who satirized both Byron and Shelley in his brilliant Nightmare Abbey, his style of writing is so gorgeous and highly original I often pray he was still alive so I could badger him into revealing his secrets. His novel was written as conversation set around a large dining table in a country house. The text is loaded with humour, witticisms, and near genial satire. He had a great deal of affection for Shelley. That much was evident even in the roasting/lampooning nature of the text. In fact, Peacock counted on Shelley’s good nature for support once the novel was published. Shelley did not disappoint. No such kindness was extended to Byron to the point he was damn near cruel. These words he credited to Byron, whom he cast as Mr Cypress in his manuscript and there is no doubt it was meant to sting.
“Sir, I have quarrelled with my wife; and a man who has quarrelled with his wife is absolved from all duty to his country. I have written an ode to tell the people as much, and they may take it as they list.”