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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses critical writing on Shelley in the nineteenth century. Critics were extremely polarized between views of his work as otherworldly and all too earthly. Romantic-period reviewers motivated by political animosity described Shelley's work as a ‘common sewer’ or a ‘dish of carrion’ and the poet himself, someone doomed to sink ‘“like lead” to the bottom’. This grossly material Shelley persisted in one strand of critical reviewing throughout the nineteenth century. On the other hand, there was the equally partisan view of Shelley as above his public in all senses.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley, poems, prose, poetry, English poets, critics, critical writing, literary criticism

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