Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Cenci

(847 words)
  • Mark Sandy (University of Durham)

Before concluding his lyrical drama, Prometheus Unbound (see separate entry) Shelley turned his attention, between May and August 1819, to writing a tragic play entitled The Cenci. Unexpectedly, Shelley suspended composition of his drama when his son, William, was afflicted with a stomach infection that precipitated in the young boy's death on 7 June 1819. Shelley did not recommence authoring The Cenci until late June or early July but, certainly, by August his tragedy was being transcribed for the press and Glauco Masi, a Leghorn printer, had by 21 September 1819 produced 250 copies of the play in readiness for shipping to England.

Originally, Shelley harboured aspirations that his tragedy would be …

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Sandy, Mark. "The Cenci". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2004
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism