"Shelley would have been a poet to the last. But how dull, how very dull, would have been the poetry of his middle age!"
The Shelley Memorial in University College
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Shelley Memorial in University College - Credit: Jonathan Bowen

A friend of Lord Byron and John Keats (1795-1821), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was another of the prominent Romantic poets.


Shelley was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford. He was expelled from the University for writing a pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism (1811). Nevertheless, University College later erected the Shelley Memorial within its walls to honour their disgraced but brilliant student.


In his personal life, Shelley scandalized society by leaving his first wife and child to live with, and then marry, Mary Godwin (1797-1851), the young daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and William Godwin (1756-1836). 


Shelley drowned in a storm shortly before his thirtieth birthday.