|In 1810, after graduating from Eton,
Shelley entered University College at Oxford
for a brief but tumultuous stay. From the
High Street entrance, the place looks much as
it did in his time.
|Shelley’s rooms (staircase one,
room 2) were in the southwest corner of the
main quadrangle, in what is now half of the
Junior Common room, and were adjacent to the
The rear of the rooms overlooked what is
now the Fellows’ Garden.
Nearby, off staircase three, one can
find the small mausoleum that houses Basil
Champney’s Shelley Memorial. It was
originally designed for the Protestant
Cemetery in Rome, but was
Critics have lambasted the sculpture,
asserting that the poet resembles nothing
so much a slice of turbot laid out on a
fishmonger’s scale. Others suggested
that the figure was insufficiently
manly—not surprising, considering
that the model was supposedly a young girl.
(Image courtesy James Jayo).
Slatter and Munday’s Printing
Office at 2-3 High Street, which published
Shelley’s notorious Necessity of
Atheism, is no longer standing; the
site is now occupied by the Lloyd’s
Bank at the corner of High and Carfax. An
early engraving of the establishment can be
found in the New Oxford Guide (Oxford,
Those wishing to research
Shelley’s stay in Oxford should
contact Robin Darwall-Smith, the University
College archivist (phone: 0865 27695,
). Access to the rooms can be arranged
through the Domestic Bursar’s office
(phone: 0865 27625). A wonderful guide to
the Bodleian Library’s collection of
Shelley materials can be found in B.C.
Shelley’s Guitar: A Bicentenary
Exhibition of Manuscripts, First Editions
and Relics of Percy Bysshe Shelley
(Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1992).