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Percy Bysshe Shelley facts for kids

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Percy Bysshe Shelley
Portrait of Shelley, by Alfred Clint (1829)
Portrait of Shelley, by Alfred Clint (1829)
Born (1792-08-04)4 August 1792
Horsham, Sussex, England
Died 8 July 1822(1822-07-08) (aged 29)
Gulf of La Spezia, Kingdom of Sardinia (now Italy)
Nationality English
Education University of Oxford
Literary movement Romanticism
  • Harriet Westbrook
    (m. 1811; died 1816)
  • Mary Shelley (m. 1816)


Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was an English poet of the early nineteenth century. He is widely thought of as one of most important poets of the Romantic movement in English literature. Some of his poems, like Ozymandias and Ode to the West Wind, are among the most famous in English.

Shelley was born in Horsham, Sussex. He was the son of a member of Parliament. He attended the University of Oxford, for only one year; he was expelled for being an atheist. In his own time Shelley was very unpopular for his political and religious views and for his personal conduct. He married young.

Shelley left England and spent much of his life travelling in Europe, especially in Italy. He became a close friend of poet Lord Byron, who also left England and travelled in Europe because of controversy at home. Shelley continued to write poetry throughout this time; he wrote several major works, like the verse drama The Cenci and long poems like Alastor and Adonais, as well as many shorter poems.

About a month before his 30th birthday, Shelley drowned in a boating accident off the coast of Italy. He was one of a trio of important English Romantic poets of the same generation who died young; the other two were Lord Byron and John Keats.

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