“The Triumph of Life — and of Shelley’s Posthumous Poems; Celebrating the Publication of Volume VII of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley.”
This event was held on 4 May 2021, 11:00 a.m. EDT / 4:00 p.m. BST. We’re delighted and grateful to share the recording which is now online.
About the event:
Neil Fraistat and Nora Crook, General Editors of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Stephen Hebron, Curator of Special Projects, Bodleian Libraries, and Elizabeth C. Denlinger, Curator of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle hope you will help us to celebrate the appearance of Volume VII in this acclaimed series.
Volume VII, edited by Nora Crook, is comprised of Shelley’s posthumous poetry, including The Triumph of Life, thought by T.S. Eliot to be the finest thing Shelley ever wrote. In the months after P.B. Shelley’s accidental drowning at age 29, his widow, Mary Shelley, recovered his unpublished and uncollected poems, sifting through his surviving notebooks and papers and painstakingly transcribing poetry that was “interlined and broken into fragments, so that the sense could only be deciphered and joined by guesses.” The resulting Posthumous Poems, 1824, was a magnificent display of Shelley’s versatility and craftsmanship between 1816 and 1822. Few volumes have made more difference to an author’s reputation. Nora Crook has newly edited these poems from the original manuscripts. Her work, upholding the rigorous standards of accuracy and comprehensiveness set by the series, offers new insights into both the poems and Mary Shelley’s editorial strategy; wide-ranging discussions in the commentaries; surprising new contexts and redatings; and much more.
To celebrate the culmination of this great labor, we invite all who love Shelley, poetry, and textual scholarship, to join us for an examination on-screen of some of the original manuscripts; a reading from Shelley’s poetry in the volume; a discussion of the work required to produce an accurate text from a difficult manuscript; and, of course, your questions.