Florence

Shelley Sites/Sights

Florence

In October 1819, the Shelleys moved into a Pensione in Palazzo Marini. Here, he wrote "Ode to the West Wind" and finished Prometheus Unbound. On November 12 Percy Florence Shelley was born. John Webster has supplied a lovely photo of an incoming fall storm in Florence—taken from Fiesole—which may capture something of the atmosphere of the "Ode":

florence  
It was not a totally happy time: in April 1819, Shelley came upon a devastating Quarterly Review article by John Taylor Coleridge purporting to review The Revolt of Islam, but actually mounting a personal attack on its author—Coleridge damned Shelley as a plagiarist heretic with an unhealthy interest in incest. The winter cold of Florence resulted in a persistent rheumatic pain in his side which forced him to cancel travel plans to Livorno. Yet the birth of Percy Florence seems to have lifted everyone's spirits: Mary began to recover from the depression she had endured since the death of William in Rome, Claire returned to her singing lessons and a crowded social calendar, and Shelley wandered happily through the Uffizi gallery
 
The Palazzo Marini faces what is now the Santa Maria Novella railway station, midway between Plaza Adua and Via Nazionale.
It features an interior courtyard and several charming fountains.

Published @ RC

January 2006

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