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Ariel by André Maurois
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Ariel

by André Maurois

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Until I actually read Ariel, I found it hard to believe that the found of Penguin Books chose this book to begin his series of something to read on the train. I had never heard of Maurois. (Then came across him as going to the premier of Abel Gance's Napoleon with Charles de Gaulle, I believe.) And I got the wrong book at first - his life of Byron, not Shelley. (That was very good - perfect train reading.)

This won't be what you expect of a biography published in the 1920s. Shelley and family were the original feckless flower children, or the upper class British version. You'd never know that Shelley got anything done. And there is a mention only in passing of Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein. (Everybody had a go at a novel one weekend. Never mentioned again.)

Surprisingly satisfying read.
  Pinguis | Feb 18, 2013 |
Although Shelley is one of the most famous romantic poets of all time he is treated like a wandering philosopher fixated on Virtue in Maurois's biography. While the Maurois version doesn't make it obvious Shelley is a womanizer and has a curious attitude towards the women in his life. For example, Miss Hitchener. When Shelley first meets her he called her his soul's sister. He convinces her to live with him and his his new wife, Harriet, but then starts to refer to her as the Brown Devil and can't wait to be rid of her. Even his best friend Hogg is confused by his change of heart. Shelley does this often, including the women he marries. Aside from his relationships Shelley spends most of his time honing his personal attitudes towards politics and society.
Maurois doesn't write his biography in the traditional sense. Reading Eleanor Roosevelt's biography side by side with Percy Shelley was an eye opening experience. The need to cross reference and index everything doesn't exist with Maurois. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 6, 2012 |
This 1924 biography spends all its pages on the personal life of Shelley, and tells nothing about his writing or his poetry. He ran off to Scotland with Harriet to escape her father's diapprovel, then abandoned her and took up with Mary, Godwin's daughter, had two children by her, and married her two weeks after Harriet died. Then he grew tired of Mary and loved her sister Jane, altho whether they were lovers is not clear. A dramatic life, often unhappy. There mst be better biographies of Shelley but this is a readable account ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 15, 2010 |
part of boxed set of facsimilies of the first ten Penquin books, published in 1985 to mark Penguin's fiftieth anniversary.
  dustuck | Aug 24, 2010 |
Does mention some of the 'bad' things, like cheating on his first wife, but overall the story is biased in favour of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Makes it sound like his other women were lying about the affairs and the illegitimate children were not his, makes it sound like he did NOT sleep with his wife's stepsister, does not mention that he signed the birth registry in Italy as the father and sent yearly support. Ignores Mary Shelley's literary career, even when it talks about how helpful she is to his writing. She wrote "Frankenstein" while these events are taking place, but all we see of her is the letters she writes and her diary entries. ( )
  mankybam | Apr 5, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
André Mauroisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
D'Arcy, EllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0766143872, Paperback)

1924. This book tells the tale of Percy Bysshe Shelley, whose life was singularly interesting and diverse. His friends unanimously testify that his character was one of gentleness, purity, generosity and strong affection. As a poet, he stands in the front rank and in some of his shorter poems he is unsurpassed. During his short life of 30 years, he was not the object of much severe judgment and his poetic power was recognized by only a few. Contents Part I: Keate's Way; The Home; The Confidant; The Neighbouring Pine; Quod Erat Demonstrandum; Timothy Shelley's Vigorous Dialectics; An Academy for Young Ladies; The Despotic Chain; A Very Young Couple; Hogg; First Encounter with Middle Age; Soap Bubbles; The Venerated Friend; Miss Hitchener; Harriet; Comparisons; and Second Incarnation of the Goddess. Contents Part II: A Six Weeks' Tour; The Pariahs; Godwin; Don Juan Conquered; Ariel and Don Juan; Graves in the Garden of Love; The Rules of the Game; Queen of Marble and Mud; The Roman Cemetery; Any Wife to Any Husband; The Cavaliere Servente; A Scandalous Letter; Lord Byron's Silence; Miranda; The Disciples; II Samuel xii:23; The Refuge; Ariel Set Free; and Last Links.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:14 -0400)

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