Percy Bysshe Shelley, Peter Bell the Third

Mark Sandy (University of Durham)
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Composed in October 1819 during a flurry of poetic creativity, Shelley’s

Peter Bell the Third

satirises Wordsworth’s tale of a wayward potter, in

Peter Bell

(published 22 April, 1819), who renounces his immoral life after a sequence of natural occurrences reveal to him the error of his old ways. On completion, Shelley sent his satirical verse to Leigh Hunt, on 2 November 1819, with the intention that

Peter Bell the Third

would be passed onto Charles Ollier for immediate, but anonymous, publication. In spite of Shelley’s efforts to persuade Ollier to print the poem,

Peter Bell the Third

remained unpublished until its inclusion in Mary Shelley’s first one volume edition of Shelley’s poetry published after the poet’s death in 1839.

Prior to publication in 1819, the sermonizing

721 words

Citation: Sandy, Mark. "Peter Bell the Third". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2834, accessed 05 March 2024.]

2834 Peter Bell the Third 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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