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The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley takes stock of current developments in the study of a major Romantic poet and prose-writer, and seeks to advance Shelley studies beyond the current scholarship. It consists of forty-two chapters written by a prestigious international cast of established and emerging scholar-critics, and offers the most...
The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley takes stock of current developments in the study of a major Romantic poet and prose-writer, and seeks to advance Shelley studies beyond the current scholarship. It consists of forty-two chapters written by a prestigious international cast of established and emerging scholar-critics, and offers the most wide-ranging single-volume body of writings on Shelley. The volume builds on the textual revolution in Shelley studies, which has transformed understanding of the poet, as critics are able to focus on what Shelley actually wrote. This Handbook is divided into five thematic sections: Biography and Relationships; Prose; Poetry; Cultures, Traditions, Influences; and Afterlives. The first section reappraises Shelley's life and relationships, including those with his publishers through whom he sought to reach an audience for the 'Ashes and sparks' of his thought, and with women, creative collaborators as well as muse-figures; the second section gives his under-investigated prose works detailed attention, bringing multiple perspectives to bear on his shifting and complex conceptual positions, and demonstrating out the range of his achievement in prose works from novels to political and poetic treatises; the third section explores Shelley's creativity and gift as a poet, emphasizing his capacity to excel in many different poetic genres; the fourth section looks at Shelley's response to past and present literary cultures, both English and international, and at his immersion in science, music, theatre, the visual arts, and tourism and travel; the fifth section concludes the volume by analysing Shelley's literary and cultural afterlife, from his influence on Victorians and Moderns, to his status as the exemplary poet for Deconstruction. The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley brings out the relevance to Shelley's own work of his dictum that 'All high poetry is infinite' and continues to generate original critical responses.
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