PORTRAIT OF SHELLEY by Newman Ivey White
Kirkus Star


Email this review


White's definitive two volume biography of Shelley brought him deserved recognition as an authority. Now he presents an extensive, interpretative and tempered portrait of the poet and the man. Here is a life of constant disenchantment -- as reality failed to meet the ideal and the idealised; of perpetual harassment as his too ge obligations to his friends (and particularly the thankless Godwin) were not matched by his circumstances; of illness, his own consumption, and Mary's melancholic depressions, and the loss of their two children in Italy. And finally, of domestic unhappiness, first with arriet, the girl whose enlightenment he undertook and which ded in a loveless marriage; and than Mary Godwin, whose spirit was partly broken by the loss of her babies. The years in England and in Italy; the peripatetic friendships with Godwin, Byron, Leigh unt; the last years of real creativity and the implications of the great poems and the politico-philosophical works. Finally, his death, and the import of the vital radical force, the imaginative idealism Shelley exerted for all times. A biographical achievement of permanent value.

Publisher: Knopf