Who knows the truth about Shelley's death?,
This review is from: The Text of Shelley's Death (Paperback)
`Everybody knows the text of Shelley's death,' this book begins. And the bare bones, I guess, are common knowledge: Percy Shelley setting off in his new yacht from Leghorn on a clear day, the storm whipping up within a few hours, the disappearance, the anguished search, the eventual discovery of his corpse on the shoreline.
Halsey - a fine poet himself - takes all of the varied and varying accounts of the poet's death and does an interesting thing; instead of sifting through them as an historian might, he butts them up against each other, forcing the contradictions to rise to the surface. Thus, constantly repeating and self-contradicting, it becomes a story of doubling; people and boats change names, books change titles, people appear in two places at once. It is not so much `What or where is the truth?' but `All of this is the truth.' All this myth-making, setting off in different directions, on different days... in the end, it is the chaos, the storm, that is the truth.