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Biography of Percy Bysshe Shelley


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Shelley, Percy Bysshe. One of the most eminent of English poets. Shelley was born of a noble family in County Sussex in 1792. He was early distinguished by his original turn of mind for speculative inquiry, and was expelled from Oxford University on an alleged charge of atheism. Refusing to recant certain philosophical opinions he had formed, and which had given rise to his expulsion, he incurred the displeasure of his father and family. Retiring to London, he there entered upon authorship by the production of his fine poem of "Queen Mab," and entered into an unfortunate marriage, from which he soon separated. In 1816, after the death of his first wife, he married the daughter of William Godwin, the authoress of "Frankenstein" and, in the following year, gave to the world his principal work, "The Revolt of Islam." In 1818, he left England never to return, and took up his residence in Italy, where he became the associate of Lord Byron and Leigh Hunt, and where he wrote his tragedy of "The Cenci," the "Prometheus Unbound," together with many of his minor and most exquisite poems. In 1822, he perished by the capsizing of his boat, while sailing in the Gulf of Leghorn.