Shelley and Italy

Ralph Pite

in The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558360
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Shelley and Italy

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)



This chapter describes Shelley's life and works in Italy. Shelley arrived in Milan on 6 April 1818, with his wife Mary, their two infant children, William and Clara, Mary's half-sister Claire Clairmont, and her daughter Allegra. They had travelled together through France and crossed the Alps via the Cenis; they reached Milan, after passing through Susa and Turin and, initially at least, planned to go no further. For Shelley, arriving in Italy was an entry into Eden. He described the shores of Lake Como as ‘superlatively fruitful and displaying an ideal harmony between man and the natural world – a harmony so perfect that human activity and organic process can barely be distinguished’.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley; English poets; Romantic poets; Milan; Lake Como

Article.  8495 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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