1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Anonymous, "Mr. Shelley" London Magazine 3 (January 1821) 68.



A friend of ours writes to us, from Italy, that Mr. Shelley, the author of that powerful Drama, "The Cenci," is employed upon an English historical Tragedy. The title, we believe, is to be Charles the First; at any rate that monarch is the hero, or principal person of the story. We hear that Mr. Shelley has expressed his determination to paint a true portrait of the unfortunate English King (it may be made a very captivating one) and to exclude from is work all prejudice, political as well as moral. If so, the reader of poetry may calculate, on being acquainted with a high and imperishable production. We differ entirely with the creeds of Mr. Shelley; but we do not on that account refrain from confessing, that he is unquestionably one of the very first of our now living English poets. We wish, most heartily, that we could bestow on his poetry our praise without qualification; but we cannot.