The Making of the Poets: Byron and Shelley in Their Time

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Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 402 pages
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Leaving no stone unturned in this illuminating portrait of Byron and Shelley's formative years, Ian Gilmour's entertaining dual biography explores the early lives of these two rebellious poets as they pursued freedom from traditional authority--in poetry, in politics, and in love. Born at a time of political and intellectual upheaval, the two well-born heretics were at ideological odds with the establishment even as boys. During their brief stints at university--Shelley was expelled from Oxford after publishing The Necessity of Atheism, and at Cambridge Byron concentrated mostly on gambling and whoring--they developed a fervent mutual hatred of persecution, inequality, and compulsory religion, quite to the shock of their fellow aristocrats. Their embrace of revolutionary ideals manifested itself, too, in their travels abroad, youthful love affairs, and early accomplishments in the literary arena. The twenty-four-year-old Byron became an immediate sensation upon the publication of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage ("I awoke one morning and found myself famous"), but the prolific Shelley would not "become [a] star among the stars of mortal night," as he put it, until after his death. Black-and-white illustrations add to this impressive work, charting the careers of these two revolutionary poets who came to epitomize the Romantic Age.

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THE MAKING OF THE POETS: Byron & Shelley in Their Time

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Ending this dual biography four years before the two great Romantic poets met—and then only briefly—British politician/author Gilmour (Riots, Risings, and Revolution, not reviewed) gives a well ... Read full review

The making of the poets: Byron and Shelley in their time

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This witty and unostentatious joint biography of George Gordon, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley provides a detailed account of the two Romantic poets' early lives, stopping, interestingly, right ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Ian Gilmour has been a barrister, journalist, politician and writer. His previous books include: Riot, Risings and Revolution, a history of violence in 18th century England; Dancing With Dogma, an analysis of Britain under Thatcherism; " Britain Can Work; and The Body Politic.

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