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This major biography of Shelley, England's most radical and controversial Romantic poet, is the first to appear in thirty years. Informed by the author's extensive research, psychological insight, and recent scholarship on Shelley and his circle, the biography stresses the intimate relationship between the poet's writing and his complex personality. James Bieri draws upon his dual background as a Shelley scholar and a psychologist to create a compelling narrative of Shelley's multifaceted life. Shelley's personality transcends any entreaty either to see it "plain" or to be labeled with a clinical diagnosis. Remarkably resilient, he was continually creative despite intervals of depression and periodic, hallucinatory panic attacks. Fascinated by the human psyche, he incorporated into his poetry his own self-analysis, including a remarkably sophisticated theory of love that provided the title to his most powerful erotic poem, Epipsychidion. Bieri also probes Shelley's numerous emotional, romantic, and familial entanglements. Based on the author's twenty years of research, the book includes new information on the discovery of Shelley's older illegitimate half-brother; important letters of his father and grandfather; his mother's early life, her letters about young Shelley, and her major influence upon Shelley; the first published portrait of Sophia Stacey, who beguiled Shelley in Florence; and further evidence on Shelley's secretly adopted Neapolitan infant. This biography offers a sympathetic and nuanced view of Shelley's tumultuous life, personality, and poetry.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801888618
ISBN-10: 0801888611
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 161mm x 48mm)
Pages: 736
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 12-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - James Bieri

James Bieri is a retired professor of psychology at the University of Texas-Austin.