About the BookThis book is both a general introduction to and a particular interpretation of Shelley’s thought and major writings. As an introduction, it stresses his seriousness and sophistication, his poetic brilliance and intellectual courage. More specifically, its readings emphasize the materialistic and corporeal orientation of his work in opposition to a traditional view of him as a Romantic solipsist, a characterization some of his own statements seem to invite. Fundamentally Shelley is understood here as a vanguard, revolutionary is for a better democratic future, but one which, paradoxically, he fears may threaten the cultural privilege it took to imagine it. But this pessimism is always the other side of an openness to new associations which continually reform both private and political life, relationships and citizenship.About the Author/sPaul Hamilton is Professor of English and Head of the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary and Westfield University of London. His many publications include Coleridge's Poetics (1983); Wordsworth (1986) and Historicism (1996).