or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Shelley: The Pursuit [Paperback]

Richard Holmes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.02 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually dispatched within 11 to 12 days.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 7.97  

Book Description

13 Nov 1995
A fantastic reissue of Richard Holmes' epic biography of this most enigmatic and intriguing of the Romantic poets. This is simply one of the greatest biographical achievements of recent years. Shelley, the most neglected of all the great Romantic poets, was born in Sussex in 1792 and died in Tuscany in 1822, a brief life packed with love affairs, alarums and excursions. Holmes's book offers a serious and critical reappraisal of Shelley as a man and a writer; all his prose and poetry is carefully re-examined, his sense of spiritual and geographical isolation brilliantly described and a detailed portrait of his macabre imaginative life slowly assembled. Shelley's intense friendships with some of the most remarkable figures of his age fill Holmes's pages with a vivid parorama of revolutionary idealism and recklessness. To this is added the private story of Shelley's tortuous romantic liaisons, complications which affected both the peculiar tenor of his daily life and the remotest conceptions of his poetry. This is a stunning, entrancing biography of a fascinating subject, and a timely reissue of an absolutely seminal work.

Frequently Bought Together

Shelley: The Pursuit + Footsteps
Price For Both: 14.96

One of these items is dispatched sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
  • Footsteps 6.99


Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New edition edition (13 Nov 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006386717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006386711
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Holmes is Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, has honorary doctorates from UEA, Kingston University and the University of East London, and was awarded an OBE in 1992. His first book, 'Shelley: The Pursuit', won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1974. 'Coleridge: Early Visions' won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year, and 'Dr Johnson & Mr Savage' won the James Tait Black Prize. 'Coleridge: Darker Reflections' won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Heinemann Award. He has published two studies of European biography, 'Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer' in 1985, and 'Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer' in 2000. 'The Age of Wonder' won the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2009 in the UK, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction 2010 in the USA.

Product Description

Review

'If the art of biography was ever damned, Shelley: The Pursuit redeemed it.' New York Times 'The best biography of Shelley ever written ... The great emphasis that Mr. Holmes lays on Shelley's politics, philosophy and social activities corrects the usual view of an extraordinarily idealized, etheral, spiritualized kind of poetry combined with an extraordinarily incoherent life... He has taken the Shelley story out of the realm of myth and made it far more convincing and significant.' Sir Stephen Spender

From the Back Cover

Shelley, the most neglected of all the great Romantic poets, was born in Sussex in 1792 and died in Tuscany in 1822, a brief life packed with love affairs, alarums and excursions. Holmes's book offers a serious and critical reappraisal of Shelly as a man and a writer: all his prose and poetry is carefully re-examined, his sense of spiritual and geographical isolation brilliantly described and a detailed portrait of his macabre imaginative life slowly assembled. Shelley's intense friendships with some of the most remarkable figures of his age fill Holmes's pages with a vivid panorama of revolutionary idealism and recklessness. To this is added the private story of Shelley's torturous romantic liaisons, complications which affected both the peculiar tenor of his daily life and the remotest conceptions of his poetry.

“If the art of biography was ever damned, 'Shelley: The Pursuit' redeems it”
NEW YORK TIMES

“The best biography of Shelley ever written… The great emphasis that Mr Holmes lays on Shelley's politics, philosophy and social activities corrects the usual view of an extraordinarily idealized, ethereal, spiritualized kind of poetry combined with an extraordinarily incoherent life… He has taken the Shelley story out of the realm of myth and made it far more convincing and significant.”
SIR STEPHEN SPENDER

“Richard Holmes's towering biography… was the first book I read about Shelley, and it led me to perhaps fifty others, none of which came within a million mile of Richard Holmes's"
PAUL FOOT, in his book 'Red Shelley'


Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best biographies I have read 29 July 2006
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I'm not a great fan of biographies usually, but I love Shelley and Byron and had heard great things about this one and so gave it a go - and I'm so pleased I did! It's vivid, articulate, intelligent and really gets under the skin of the subjects.

Shelley leaps off the page in all his daemonic intelligence and ambivalence, as does Mary Shelley, Byron and Claire Clairmont. I found myself slowing down towards the end both because I didn't want to reach the conclusion that I knew had to happen, and also because I just didn't want the book to end.

With so many biographies I find it difficult to actually picture the subjects as real people with an inner life of their own, but that's just one of the things that Richard Holmes conveys so well. He's also excellent on the poetry, and linking the philosophy and thinking with Shelley's actual life. With Shelley in particular, this is important as he's probably one of the most intellectual of English poets and everything he ever read or thought imbues his own writing with levels and levels of meaning.

I studied the Romantics including Shelley at university and thought I knew about them, but this book proved me wrong. I have now read and re-read this so many times that I had to buy a new copy!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book 24 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book. You read, enthralled, as the biographer is gathered into the life of his subject; neither the subject nor the biographer will ever entirely leave you again. Here are insights not, in the normal run of things, vouchsafed to scholars. Yet the book is thorough and detailed - it is from this scholoarship, rather than any sloppy mysticism, that the insights come.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great biography, not to be missed!!!!!! 6 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
Alongside, Juliet Barker's 'The Brontes', this is without doubt my favourite literary biography. Shelley simply steps off the page in this wonderful book. As Holmes says himself, this is not a book for Shelley lovers, but as an ardent admirer of Shelley and his work myself, I wouldn't want to read a book that hero worships and is not willing to criticise. Here we meet the real Shelley, a flawed, often selfish man, but at the same time a great thinker ahead of his time, passionate and intelligent.
I particularly enjoyed reading about his relationship with the women in his life, notably for me Claire Claremont and Harriet Westbrook. Harriet is often dismissed in the shadow of Mary Shelley as purely Shelley's first wife who killed herself, but here we see a bright, funny and intelligent woman in her own right. Another reviewer felt that Harriet's tragic suicide was dealt with sparsely, but I personally found these passages desperately sad.
Surprisingly, I found Mary Shelley occasionally a little grating (it was Mary and her son and daughter in law who perpetuated a saintly image of Shelley and who barely acknowledged Harriet Shelley's siginificance), whereas her half-sister Clare was a vibrant, intelligent woman who I think was perhaps the person who knew Shelley better than any other.
Shelley's poetry is studied closely, and often missed by other biographers Shelley's skills in translating is finally given the credit it deserves. I would like to have read a little more regarding what happened to Eliza Westbrook, and his children Ianthe and Charles, but tihs is only a minor grumble in an otherwise flawlessly researched and written book.
I cannot recommend this book enough. I intend to book a holiday to Italy soon to visit the various Shelley related places, and this book will definitly be coming with me as my guide.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shadows of the Mind 29 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback
For sheer application and scholarship, Richard Holmes's 'Shelley - The Pursuit' (Harper Perennial, 2005) certainly merits its accolades and acclaim (it was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1974 when originally published).

Holmes does what every good biographer should do. He has not only read impressively widely on his subject but has also gone back to, at least some, original sources. It always worries me when writers of this genre limit their source-material solely to previous biographies. Inevitably, the arguments presented within wear all the hues of the author's own particular prejudices, perceptions and experiences, themselves limited by the author's own development. Researching original sources in addition to the established canon is much more arduous, but there can be no alternative if one wishes to write confidently from one's own understanding, especially if one is aiming at such a thorough investigation as Holmes delivers here.

Holmes has dived deep, and the details of Shelley's life and work are subjected to a close, considered and original examination and evaluation. The sheer size of the book alone is indicative of the, often minute, attention Holmes gives to aspects of the poet's life which are often too swiftly passed over or omitted altogether. I usually think that the place for extensive criticism of a poet's work is in a book devoted exclusively to it and not in a biography (which, to me, is setting out to do something quite different) and that, therefore, comments on the poetry should be limited exclusively to those which cast light on developments in the poet's life.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I started with Coleridge, and went on to all the rest of his books....
I am keeping this as a treat for later; everything else he has written is absolutely splendid. Wonderful writer. I can't recommend him more highly.
Published 1 month ago by c manners
4.0 out of 5 stars Like the step of ghosts
Perhaps four stars is less than this blockbusting biography of Shelley deserves but compared to Holme's later work four is about right. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nicolas Milne
5.0 out of 5 stars Nous sommes tous des Grecs...
Any man at a young age who attempts to write such a powerful Biography, as this is, deserves the utmost praise. Read more
Published on 18 May 2012 by thepoetself
5.0 out of 5 stars In the wake of the Pursuit
First a warning. The 2005 Harper Perennial re-issue has 735 pages of small and slightly blurred print to read, and those wishing to purchase Richard Holmes' evergreen biography... Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2011 by J. Newth
5.0 out of 5 stars A passion, a skill, a masterpiece
What a book! After reading the Coleridge books and reading a quote from Shelley in them... I decided to check out this book...whoa! Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2009 by Mr. Peter T. Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars Shelley without sentiment?
Many in the literary world have given this book a positive review since it first appeared in the early 1970's. Read more
Published on 27 Nov 2007 by P. Griffin
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a great saga
I have always enjoyed the poetry of Percy Shelley, but never really took a closer look at the man behind Prometheus Unbound. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2006 by Amazon Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback