Synopses & Reviews
His name is Percy Bysshe Shelley, and he is the author of a poetical work entitled Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude. With these words, the radical journalist and poet Leigh Hunt announced his discovery in 1816 of an extraordinary talent within a new school of poetry rising of late.
The third volume of the acclaimed edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley includes Alastor, one of Shelley's first major works, and all the poems that Shelley completed, either for private circulation or publication, during the turbulent years from 1814 to March 1818: Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Mont Blanc, Laon and Cythna, as well as shorter pieces, such as his most famous sonnet, Ozymandias. It is during these years that Shelley, already an accomplished and practiced poet with three volumes of published verse, authors two major volumes, earns international recognition, and becomes part of the circle that was later called the Younger Romantics.
As with previous volumes, extensive discussions of the poems' composition, influences, publication, circulation, reception, and critical history accompany detailed records of textual variants for each work. Among the appendices are Mary W. Shelley's 1839 notes on the poems for these years, a table of the forty-two revisions made to Laon and Cythna for its reissue as The Revolt of Islam, and Shelley's errata list for the same.
It is in the works included in this volume that the recognizable and characteristic voice of Shelley is heard unmistakably, consistently, and with fresh vitality.