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Shelley's Ghost: Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family

Few families enjoy such a remarkable reputation for their contribution to the literature and intellectual life of Britain as the Godwins and the Shelleys. The Bodleian online exhibition 'Shelley's Ghost: Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family' explores how the reputation of this great literary family was shaped by the selective release of documents and manuscripts into the public domain. It also provides a fascinating insight into the real lives of a family that was blessed with genius but marred by tragedy.'

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons Mary Shelley - Journal of Sorrow Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. In the months immediately following Shelley's death Mary lived at Albaro on the outskirts of Genoa. Her only regular companions were her young son, Percy Florence, and the journal she began on 2 October 1822. Nouran Koriem 02 Dec 2010
2 Creative Commons William Godwin- Letter to Mary Shelley Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. This is the letter Godwin wrote to Mary after hearing of Shelley's death. Hoare Nairne 02 Dec 2010
3 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Letter to Mary Shelley Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. 'Everybody is in despair and every thing in confusion' writes Shelley in his last letter to Mary. He was in Pisa to discuss a new journal, The Liberal, with Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron. Henry Cockburn 02 Dec 2010
4 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Adonais. An Elegy on the Death of John Keats Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. This great elegy was prompted by the news of the death of John Keats in Rome, and by Shelley's belief that Keats's illness was caused by the hostile notices his work had been given in the Quarterly Review. Jordan Saxby 02 Dec 2010
5 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Opening lines of 'The Triumph of Life' Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Shelley worked on 'The Triumph of Life', a dark and visionary poem, while living at the Villa Magni. Hoare Nairne 02 Dec 2010
6 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Dedication fair copy of 'With a guitar. To Jane' Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Shelley presented this light-hearted poem, copied out in his best hand, with the guitar he gave to Jane Williams in 1822. Jordan Saxby 02 Dec 2010
7 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Fair copy of Ode to the West Wind Part of the Shelly's Ghost Exhibition. Shelley's best-known poem was written in Florence in late 1819. Christopher Adams 02 Dec 2010
8 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley - Draft of 'Ozymandias' Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. 'Ozymandias' is the Greek name for Ramses II, who ruled Egypt for sixty-seven years from 1279 to 1213 BC. Christopher Adams 02 Dec 2010
9 Creative Commons Mary Shelley (with Percy Bysshe Shelley) - Draft of Frankenstein Mary Shelley drafted Frankenstein in two tall notebooks. The first notebook was probably purchased in Geneva, the second several months later in England. Christopher Adams 02 Dec 2010
10 Creative Commons Harriet Shelley - Letter to Eliza Westbrook, Shelley and her parents Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Harriet Shelley drowned herself in December 1816, aged twenty-one. Her body was recovered from the Serpentine on 10 December, and an inquest into the death of one 'Harriet Smith' was held the following day. Hannah Morrell 02 Dec 2010
11 Creative Commons Mary Shelley - Letter to Percy Bysshe Shelley Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Shelley and Mary arrived back in London to face the almost universal disapproval of family and friends, and severe money problems. Nouran Koriem 02 Dec 2010
12 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley - Joint journal entry Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Shelley and Mary eloped at 4.15 am on 28 July 1814, accompanied by Mary's step-sister Jane Clairmont. Henry Cockburn 02 Dec 2010
13 Creative Commons Percy Bysshe Shelley: Letter to William Godwin Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Using false names, Shelley sent copies of The Necessity of the Atheism to 'men of thought and learning', including bishops and clergymen. Henry Cockburn 02 Dec 2010
14 Creative Commons William Godwin: Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Godwin's memoir of Mary Wollstonecraft has been called the first modern biography. At the time, however, its frankness and emotional candour provoked general outrage. Henry Cockburn 02 Dec 2010
15 Creative Commons Mary Wollstonecraft Three notes to William Godwin Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. Even after their marriage Godwin and Wollstonecraft preferred to live independently during the day, and communicate by correspondence. Hannah Morrell 02 Dec 2010
16 Creative Commons Mary Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Part of the Shelley's Ghost Exhibition. In her most famous work Mary Wollstonecraft argued that if women were educated in the same way as men they would perform as well. Annabell James 02 Dec 2010