Percy Bysshe Shelley: Peter Bell the Third

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

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 In spite of Shelley’s efforts to persuade Ollier to print the poem, Peter Bell the Third remained unpublished until its inclusion in Mary Shelley’s first one volume edition of Shelley’s …

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Sandy, Mark. "Peter Bell the Third". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2004
[, accessed 30 May 2015.]