The Poems of Shelley: 1817-1819
Longman, 1989 - 595 pages
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was one of the major Romantic poets, and wrote what is critically recognised as some of the finest lyric poetry in the English language. This is the second volume of the five-volume The Poems of Shelley, which presents all of Shelley's poems in chronological order and with full annotation. Date and circumstances of composition are provided for each poem and all manuscript and printed sources relevant to establishing an authoritative text are freshly examined and assessed. Headnotes and footnotes furnish the personal, literary, historical and scientific information necessary to an informed reading of Shelley's varied and allusive verse.
This volume makes extensive use of the Shelley manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and draws on the substantial recent research which has appeared on Shelley's text and contexts, and on members of his circle such as Mary Shelley, Byron, Godwin and others. It offers significant new datings and contextual exposition of major works including Prometheus Unbound, Laon and Cythna, 'Julian and Maddalo', The Cenci, and Shelley's translations from the Greek, notably his highly original translation of Euripides' The Cyclops. There are also comprehensive treatments of some of Shelley's best known shorter poems, such as 'Lines written among the Euganean Hills' and 'Ozymandias'.
The annotation demonstrates the extraordinary range and richness of Shelley's literary intelligence, and situates his work in the revolutionary politics and social upheavals of the early nineteenth century. The text and annotation are supported by an extensive bibliography, a chronology, indexes, and appendices which include a detailed examination of the history of the Cenci story. The volumes of The Poems of Shelley form the most comprehensive edition of Shelley's poetry available to students and scholars.