Catherine Peters

Experiments In Living

Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives

By

Bloomsbury 364pp £20 order from our bookshop

In her ambitious and enthralling first book, Daisy Hay takes the dynamics of friendship among the second-generation Romantics as her unifying theme. She explodes the myth of the isolated, autophagous poet, showing how these predominantly urban writers (scornfully dismissed by a destructive article in Blackwood’s as ‘the Cockney School’, though they were not Cockneys and never a school) drew strength from each other for new and sometimes dangerous experiments in art and living. Hay sums up the importance of their association well: ‘sociability – the self-conscious enactment of friendship – was transformed into a weapon in a battle for liberal survival.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate… ,
    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,