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10 Pages

The Shelley circle: family and friends

WithPatricia Hodgart

Percy Bysshe Shelley had become interested in it and decided to put money into the project, but when the idea was abandoned, became angry and disappointed. After Shelley’s death he left with Byron in 1823 for Cephalonia, to assist in the Greek fight for independence, and his recollections of Lord Byron are coupled with those of Shelley in the memoir he wrote. His own life-story is difficult to disentangle from his romantic fabrications, as in the quasi-autobiographical Adventures of a Younger Son. After Shelley’s elopement with Clara Mary Jane Clairmont she became a permanent attachment to their household. After Harriet Grove’s suicide Shelley alleged that ‘the beastly viper’ had virtually murdered her sister. She and Mr Westbrook brought the case against him as unfit to keep the children and she obtained custody of Ianthe. In 1822 she married Robert Beauchamp of Tetton House, Somerset.