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A novel based on the passionate and tempestuous life of Shelley, and the contradictions in his life: one minute a loving husband, the next a straying lover; one time a serious philosopher, and then a soaring romantic. It tries to discover the truth behind the legendary figure.
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This fictionalized biography begins awkwardly, but melodramatic scenes and pompous language ultimately give way to a compelling, harshly realistic portrait of the English poet (1792-1822) and his milieu. Morley ( The Summer Woods ) shows the idealistic, iconoclastic and unyielding Shelley attracting worshipful followers even as he is expelled from Oxford for atheism. Married at 19, scraping by on expectation of an inheritance, he wanders through England, Ireland and Wales accompanied by his admirers. Always in pursuit of a utopian community, he seeks out the poet Robert Southey and the philosopher William Godwin, whose daughter Mary instantly seizes upon Shelley as a soul mate. With vigor and a keen eye for venality, hypocrisy and cruelty, Morley depicts the various groups clustered around the charismatic poet. Her descriptions of Shelley's bouts with depression and nightmares create a mood of impending doom that foreshadows his end. An infusion of unnecessary characters and too many scenes of domestic spats among the servants slightly diminish the impact of the final chapters, but overall this is an absorbing story, forcefully told.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Morley's account of Shelley's life disappoints as both fiction and biography. Although the essential facts are presented accurately, the novel fails to penetrate beyond the superficial. Shelley's wife Harriet, William and Mary Godwin, Claire Clairmont, Lord Byron, and other familiar players in Shelley's life appear in these pages. Morley talks about Shelley's passionate desire to aid humanity in general and to rescue distressed women in particular, but she does not create a sense of the interior impulses that produced his actions. She spends more time chronicling his endless moves through the British Isles and the Continent than in exploring his personal or literary growth. He comes across as uninteresting, self-centered, and immature, and his early demise brings the reader relief.
- Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1993. Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP88648127
Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Wild Spirit: The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9780340588666
Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Good. Wild Spirit: The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Seller Inventory # 9053-9780340588666
Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 09/12/1993, 1993. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780340588666
Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 09/12/1993, 1993. Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 2341-9780340588666
Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 09/12/1993, 1993. Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Seller Inventory # 9053-9780340588666
Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1993. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0340588667
Book Description Coronet / John Curtis, London, 1993. Paperback. Condition: Very Good+. Reprint; First Printing. Slight cover corner creasing. ; Nice tight flat copy, no names or marks inside, appears unread. ; 281 pages; A recreation of the life, loves and tragic death of the romantic poet and revolutionary. Mass Market PB. Seller Inventory # 11968
Book Description Coronet, U K, 1993. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. Seller Inventory # 024702
Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. Paperback. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 2822017867