Byron pp 51-54 | Cite as

Meetings with Byron (1818–21)

  • P. B. Shelley
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


[To Mary Shelley, 23 Aug 1818.] At 3 o’clock I called on [Byron]. — He was delighted to see me.… Later he took me in his gondola — much against my will for I wanted to return to Claire’ at Mrs Hoppner’s2 who was anxiously waiting for me — across the laguna to a long sandy island which defends Venice from the Adriatic. When we disembarked, we found his horses waiting for us, and we rode along the sands of the sea talking.3 Our conversation consisted in histories of his wounded feelings, and questions as to my affairs, and great professions of friendship and regard for me. He said that if he had been in England at the time of the Chancery affair,4 he would have moved Heaven and Earth to have prevented such a decision. We talked of literary matters, his fourth Canto5 which he says is very good, and indeed repeated some stanzas of great energy to me, and Foliage6 which he quizzes immoderately … we returned to his palace.…


Literary Matter Grey Hair Great Poet Macmillan Publisher Hectic Fever 
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  1. See C. L. Cline, Byron, Shelley and their Pisan Circle (1952);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. John Buxton, Byron and Shelley (1968).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Claire or Clare Clairmont (born Mary Jane Clairmont) (1798–1879) was a daughter of William Godwin by his second wife, and hence a step-sister of Mary Shelley. She became involved with Byron in London in 1816 while he was embroiled in the separation from his wife, and soon afterwards travelled to Switzerland with the Shelleys and resumed her relationship with him. Their child Allegra (see note 8 below) was born at the beginning of the following year. For a full account see R. Glynn Grylls, Claire Clairmont (1939).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Leigh Hunt’s Foliage was published in 1818.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    The subtitle of Byron’s drama Marino Faliero (1821).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Allegra, born 12 January 1817, was the illegitimate daughter of Byron and Claire Clairmont (see note 2 above). She joined Byron in Venice in April or May 1818 and at the age of four was placed in a convent, dying there of fever on 20 April 1822. See Iris Origo, Allegra (1935).Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Shelley’s ‘lyrical drama’, Prometheus Unbound, published in 1820.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Shelley’s drama The Cenci, published in 1819.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. B. Shelley

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