Saturday 6 February 2010

The grave of Shelley

I think I've known for about twenty years where the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was buried. During that time I've collected nearly 70 biographies about him, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and further illustrious people from their circle like Edward John Trelawny, Claire Clairmont, Augusta Leigh and Leigh Hunt (mind you, 70 is still nothing, since thousands of books have been written about them).

Well, on January 23th I finally stood in front of the place where Shelley's ashes were buried after he drowned in a storm and his remains were cremated on the Italian shore, leaving Mary a widow of only 24 years old.

And where Shelley is, are Keats and Trelawny. John Keats died in Rome of tuberculosis aged 25 and Edward John Trelawny bought the grave next to Shelley and was buried there in 1881, 59 years after Shelley's death. An entry on Keats and pictures of all the gravesites will shortly appear on the site. Visits to the Campo Verano and Santo Teutonico cemeteries have also provided a lot of new material, but most of that will probably have to wait for later.