A scholarly, highly documented attempt to penetrate the legend of a conventional Victorian Shelley in the name of mistaken family devotion, sentimentality and piety. In his desertion of Harriet, his elopement with Mary, his relations with Clarie Clairmont, Shelley is presented as pagan, romantic. The fostering of the legend, its rapid growth, forgery and fraudulence in Shelley biography from the time of Major Byron to Forman and Wise of our day -- all fall under the scrutiny of the author. Shelley's own works are used only as they contribute to biographical findings. A factual analysis, for Shelley scholars- the average reader will find it rather pedestrian and uninspired reading.