This incisive analysis of Shelley's political work was a truly inspirational read! The driving force is the idea that Shelley has been misinterpreted since his work was first published, by conservative and reactionary scholars who refuted Shelley's strong, often radical political messages - atheism, feminism, republicanism (each examined in detail) - because they offended, or opposed the idea of Shelley as the "ineffectual angel" of Romantic lyricism. It presents a far more exciting aspect of Shelley's poetry, who was more philosopher than perhaps all of his popular contemporaries.
Having just started A Level English Literature, i had a limited experience of literary criticism aside from the recommended Leavis (who is held to account by Foot for his savage attack on Shelley in his "Revaluation") However, this book opened my mind to different viewpoints in literary criticism, and how a critic's political viewpoints can seriously skew their views of writer's works.
The analysis is backed up with plenty of relevant historical context (ie. reactions to the French Revolution), and is written in an extremely readable style - so i would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Shelley, be they a student, or a poetry fan.