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A Percy Shelley Biography

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.7 
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Every Romanticist is heavily indebted to Pickering & Chatto for their publication of a series of valuable sets of Romantic texts. From the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft (published in 1989), to the Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley (published in May 1996), and continuing with forthcoming editions of Hazlitt's and De Quincey's Selected Works, Pickering & Chatto continues to foster the study of Romantic writers with excellent scholarly editions.

    Under the general editorship of John Mullan, Pickering & Chatto offers us a new collection in their series of Romantic studies publications: Lives of the Great Romantic Poets . This three-volume set contains facsimile reproductions of biographical accounts of three major poets of the Romantic period: Shelley, Byron and Wordsworth. Each volume contains a clearly-written introduction which presents an overall picture of the poet's career and popularity during his lifetime. Though unfortunately limited by space considerations, the editors have succeeded in compiling intelligent accounts of the poets. A selected, and rather brief, bibliography of useful secondary works and a brief chronology are also to be found. Each extract of biographical writing is preceded by a short editor's introduction containing details about the author, the work from which the extract is taken, and the relationship between the author and the poet referred to. These introductions are straightforward, with enough details to improve the reading of the extracts without overwhelming the reader with too many facts. I have to stress the fact that this edition is a facsimile reproduction of extracts from Romantic texts and not a scholarly edition of these texts. Thus, although one finds a few notes, one should be aware that the interest of these volumes lies mainly in the texts they make newly available to the public. In this, this edition echoes the Revolution and Romanticism series of facsimile of Romantic texts chosen by Jonathan...


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