Article

Shelley and His Contemporaries

Kelvin Everest

in The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558360
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199558360.013.0033

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Shelley and His Contemporaries

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This chapter discusses Shelley's relations with his contemporaries, who did not see him as an important figure. Shelley lived a solitary, nomadic life and avoided polite society whenever he could, and his career did not compare to the fame achieved by Byron and Wordsworth. Active and regular interaction with a wider range of living writers came only with his friendship with Leigh Hunt, who promoted Shelley together with Keats and John Hamilton Reynolds as the next promising generation of ‘Young Poets’ in an chapter in the Examiner published on 1 December 1816. Shelley's cultural and social experiences throughout the remaining years of exile in Italy were also far from sociable. He moved house constantly and endured terrible personal tragedy against a background of striking social isolation.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley; English poets; Romantic poets; writers; Italy; social isolation

Article.  8398 words. 

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

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