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4 August 1792

On yesterday's date in 1792 Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Sussex. See this review by Nora Crook of The Shelleys of Field Place, as well as an earlier Romantic Circles Editors' Dispatch column by the book's author. In textual commemoration, Neil Fraistat makes available the following opening stanzas of Queen Mab, Canto IX (a sneak preview of Volume II of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, now at press, to be published in December), which imagine nothing less than the utopian renovation of the world.

O happy Earth! reality of Heaven!
To which those restless souls that ceaselessly
Throng through the human universe, aspire;
Thou consummation of all mortal hope!
Thou glorious prize of blindly-working will! 5
Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time,
Verge to one point and blend forever there:

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Holmes to edit Gilchrist on Blake

Gilchrist on Blake, a new edition of the 1863 Life of William Blake by Alexander Gilchrist, will be published by Harper Collins in August, edited by biographer Richard Holmes.

This is from the description on the Harper Collins Website:

. . . the first biography of William Blake ever written, at a time when the great visionary poet and painter was generally forgotten, ridiculed or dismissed as insane. Wonderfully vivid and outspoken (one chapter is entitled ‘Mad or Not Mad’), it was based on revealing interviews with many of Blake’s surviving friends. . . . Gilchrist adds detailed descriptions of Blake’s beliefs and working methods, an account of his trial for high treason and fascinating evocations of the places in London, Kent and Sussex where he lived. The book transformed Blake’s reputation.

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Blue Plaque unveiled for Mary Wollstonecraft

Author Claire Tomalin recently unveiled another blue plaque to honor the Godwin-Shelley circle, this time Mary Wollstonecraft, who lived at number 45 Dolben Street in London in 1788.

See a brief story and a series of pictures on the London SE1 community Website:

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view.php?ArtID=1084

You can compare here another post on this blog about a recent blue-plaque ceremony to honor her daughter.

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