Neil Fraistat: Introduction to Prometheus Unbound (Garland, 1991)

The following introduction is excerpted from Neil Fraistat's The Prometheus Unbound Notebooks: A Facsimile of Bodleian MSS. Shelley e.1, e.2, e.3: The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts, Volume IX. New York: Garland Publishing, 1991.

Beyond the intermediate fair copy in Bodleian Manuscripts Shelley e.1-e.3, the known manuscripts for Prometheus Unbound are as follows:

1. Bodleian Manuscript Shelley adds. e.11

Notebook of 83 remaining leaves (with several others torn out), containing draft for parts of Act 2.1, 3.4, Preface, epigraph, and passages possibly related to Act 4 and Preface.1

2. Bodleian Manuscript Shelley adds. e.12

Notebook of 119 remaining leaves, containing draft for parts of Act 1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2

2a. British Library, Ashley Manuscript 4086

Holograph fair copy of The Mask of Anarchy consisting of 12 leaves, 9 leaves of which were torn from the third quire of adds. e.12. Within these 9 leaves is draft for 4.325-31 (f. 9v) and an unused line possibly related to 3.3 (f. 7r).3

3. Bodleian Manuscript Shelley adds. c.4, folio 6r

Single sheet (bifolium) of Italian letter paper, containing draft for 2.3.28-42.4

4. Huntington Manuscript 2176

Notebook of 56 remaining leaves, containing draft for parts of 2.5, 4, and lines possibly related to 2.2 and 2.3.5

5. Huntington Manuscript 2177

Notebook of 94 remaining leaves (originally 102 leaves),6 containing draft for Act 2.3, 4, Preface, and lines possibly related to 3.4.

5a.Pforzheimer Manuscript SC 548

Leaf torn from HM 2177 (in which it was originally f. 7r), containing draft for 2.3.86-89.7

6. Pforzheimer Manuscript SC 549

Two leaves--folios 140r [reverso] and 139v [reverso]--in SC 546, a notebook of 142 leaves (excluding stubs of 16 torn-out leaves), principally containing A Philosophical View of Reform.8 Written on these leaves, with the notebook reversed, is draft for 4.319-22, 376-77, 397-99.

The following draft is possibly related to Prometheus Unbound: Bodleian Manuscript Shelley Bodleian Manuscript Shelley adds. e.6:

2.5.4-5 (p. 16)

Bodleian Manuscript Shelley e.4:

2.5.72-84 (f. 34r)

3.3.165-66 (f. 75v)

Shelley's translations of Prometheus Unbound into Italian appear as follows:

Bodleian Manuscript Shelley d.1:

2.5.48-71 (ff. 109v-108r [reverso])9

4.1-82 (ff. 107r-105v)

Bodleian Manuscript Shelley adds. e.8:

2.5.72-110 (pp. 84-82 [reverso])

Prometheus Unbound was first published in 1820 in a volume entitled Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama in Four Acts, With Other Poems (hereafter 1820).10 No poem caused Shelley more pains to compose or occupied him for so long. It took him almost a year and a half to write the principal parts of Prometheus Unbound, beginning in late August or early September 1818 and ending in December 1819. But he appears to have been planning the poem as early as March 1818, and to be revising it as late as 26 May 1820, when he mailed "two little papers of corrections & additions" for interpolation into the press transcript (LPBS, 2:201).

Although Shelley ultimately drafted Prometheus Unbound in parts of five extant notebooks, the only known manuscript sources for the early composition of the poem are e.11 and e.12, along with the single known surviving loose sheet of draft, c.4, f. 6r. Three of the five notebooks--HM 2176, HM 2177, and SC 546--were not used until relatively late in the process of composition: not, in fact, until after April 1819, when Shelley claimed that the first three acts were already completed.11 Of the 2,610 lines in the published poem, there is known draft for less than a third (approximately 800 lines)--the bulk of which consists of draft in notebooks for Act 4 (496 lines). The first three acts of Prometheus Unbound seem to have been drafted primarily on loose sheets (possibly in conjunction with notebooks now lost or destroyed) that Shelley threw away after copying.

In addition to the draft described above, a running copy of intermediate draft for at least most of Act 1 was written on loose sheets that have been either lost or destroyed.12 The intermediate fair copy located in e.1-e.3 served as Shelley's safekeeping copy; and he recorded in it revisions made to the poem after the press transcript had already been sent to England. In some ways, however, the fair copy might more appropriately be termed a "fair draft": several passages in the poem are drafted directly in the manuscript; a ten-line passage from the published poem is lacking in the manuscript; some lines and passages that we can infer were deleted in the press transcript are left uncanceled in the manuscript; and many details in such matters as punctuation, word choice, and stage directions that apparently were decided on in the press transcript are not recorded in the manuscript.

Mary Shelley transcribed for the press most or all of Acts 1-3 between 5 and 12 September 1819, and all of Act 4 in mid-December 1819. As was his usual practice, Shelley appears to have corrected the press transcripts, making a series of small final revisions to prepare the poem for the press. It is by now a commonplace that Shelley was extremely dissatisfied with the published text of 1820, the only edition of Prometheus Unbound to appear during his lifetime, for which he was not allowed to read proof. But the "formidable list" of errata he prepared for that text (LPBS, 2:257) has been lost or destroyed--as has been the press transcript itself, which best would have reflected his intentions for the printed text. The fair copy in e.1-e.3 is thus the latest extant holograph version of Prometheus Unbound, providing a focal point for understanding the vexed textual situation of the poem. Indeed, despite distinguished work by Zupitza, Freeman, and, especially, Zillman, much remains to be learned about the genesis, composition, and production of Prometheus Unbound.

What we do not know about the genesis and composition of Prometheus Unbound is enough to fill a book--and has already made itself evident in several. Let us look for a moment at what we think we know. The standard account, based partly on Mary Shelley's comments in her 1839 first edition of Shelley's complete poetry, is that Shelley began Prometheus Unbound at Este at the beginning of September 1818, completing Act 1 by early October, writing Acts 2-3 in Rome in early Spring 1819, and finishing the drama as a whole by early April, until--in the oft-echoed words of Edward Dowden--"as a sublime after-thought" (Life, 2:298), he composed Act 4 in Florence, in late Fall 1819. However, as Donald H. Reiman has already suggested, this account is at best misleading and almost certainly wrong.13 It is misleading because, as manuscript evidence makes clear, Shelley began drafting Act 4 during the summer of 1819--before he even arrived at Florence--and because the three-act poem that Shelley calls finished in early April is markedly different from the first three acts of the published poem: at the very least it is likely that over one hundred lines of Act 2 as we now know it were not written until the fall or winter of 1819--after he had begun writing Act 4--and it may even be argued that these lines genetically derive from the stylistic experimentation of Act 4.14            

To better understand the genesis and composition of Prometheus Unbound, we need to look at the primary evidence on which the received account rests, beginning with a note published in Mary Shelley's four-volume first edition (hereafter 1839):

We spent a month in Milan [April 1818]. . . . Thence we passed in succession to Pisa, Leghorn, the Baths of Lucca, Venice, Este, Rome, Naples, and back again to Rome, whither we returned early in March 1819. During all this time Shelley meditated the subject of his drama, and wrote portions of it. Other poems were composed during this interval. . . . But though he diversified his studies, his thoughts centred in the "Prometheus." At last, when at Rome, during a bright and beautiful spring, he gave up his whole time to the composition. The spot selected for his study was, as he mentions in his preface, the mountainous ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. (1839, 2:132)

The emphases of this account are clear: Shelley was preoccupied with the idea of Prometheus Unbound virtually from when he conceived the poem in Spring 1818 until Spring 1819, "when he gave up his whole time to the composition." This accords with Shelley's own account in the Preface: "This Poem was chiefly written upon the mountainous ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. . . . The bright blue sky of Rome, and the vigorous awakening of spring in that divinest climate, and the new life with which it drenches the spirit to intoxication, were the inspiration of this drama" (R&P, p. 133).

Interestingly, both accounts slight the actual work on Act 1 done in Este, which might well have consisted of nearly half of the total lines for the first three acts.15 Shelley's own account may even lead the reader to believe that the poem was actually conceived in 1819, during a spring in Rome that "provided the inspiration for this drama."16   It is hard to know just how to interpret Mary Shelley's claim that "During all this time [Spring 1818 to Spring 1819] Shelley meditated the subject of his drama, and wrote portions of it." Was he writing portions of Prometheus Unbound as soon as he began meditating the subject? If it is impossible to know when meditation turned into composition and when composition might have given way again simply to meditation, it is nevertheless significant that Mary Shelley describes the process of composition for the first three acts as continuous. Other evidence, moreover, is available to help us understand this process more circumstantially.

It is well known, for instance, that Mary Shelley credited the Shelleys' passage in March 1818 through the sublimely mountainous terrain surrounding Les Eschelles with "giving" Shelley "the idea for his Prometheus."17 And, indeed, a journal entry for 26 March 1818 in Shelley's hand compares the surrounding scene to that described "in the Prometheus of Aeschylus--Vast rifts & caverns in the granite precipices--wintry mountains with ice & snow above--the loud sounds of unseen waters within the caverns, & walls of topling rocks only to be scaled as [Aeschylus] describes, by the winged chariot of the Ocean Nymphs" (JMWS, 1:200). Upon entering Les Eschelles, located just outside of France, within the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Shelleys were stopped at the border, where their books were seized by a censor, whom Shelley describes in the same journal entry as a "Priest--who admits nothing of Rousseau Voltaire etc into the dominions of the K.[ing] of S.[ardinia]" (JMWS, 1:200). Usually ignored in this famous entry is the passage immediately following the comparison to Aeschylus: "Under the dominion of this tyranny the inhabitants of the fertile vallies bounded by these mountains are in a state of the most frightful poverty & disease,--at the foot of this ascent were cut into the rocks at several places stories of the misery of the inhabitants to move the compassion of travellers" (JMWS, 1:200). For Shelley, the tyranny of the Sardinian state, with its Jove-like King and Priests, is thus both figured by and quite literally inscribed upon the towering mountains--much like Prometheus's curse, which is written "as on a scroll" onto the features of the unregenerate Titan and onto the landscape of the world blighted by his curse.  

Shelley's personal and political responses to this particular manifestation of the sublime are thus interfused with his identity as a reader. Not only are they activated by the reading material of which he has been deprived by the State and the tales actually told upon the mountain by the oppressed populace, but they are also articulated in terms of his reading of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound. Whereas it is questionable that the passage through Les Eschelles actually "gave" Shelley the idea for Prometheus Unbound--a work he may well have been contemplating for several years--there can be little doubt that the psychological, social, and symbolic economies of Prometheus Unbound, Act 1, were actively in gestation at least six months before he began actual composition of the poem.18

Two notes previously unmentioned by critics may help us trace this initial gestation further: in e.1, Shelley wrote down in Greek a line-and-a-half from Sophocles's Philoctectes that may be translated: "unruly men become so / by the instruction of their betters" (f. 1r). We know that Shelley was reading Philoctotes on 2 June 1818, and it is just possible that at this time he considered saving these lines as an ironically fit motto for the lyrical drama he was already conceiving, whose purpose was, as he phrases it in the Preface, "to familiarise the highly refined imagination of the more select classes of poetical readers with idealisms of moral excellence."19 Another note in Greek, this one in e.12, which contains the only extant draft lines for Act 1, may be translated: "Asia, wife of Prometheus" (p. 4). The only Classical authority for the conjugal relationship between Asia and Prometheus is Herodotus, whom Shelley was reading from 16 July through 2 August 1818. It is thus possible that by early August Shelley had already conceived the dynamics of the plot in terms of the separation and reuniting of Prometheus and Asia.

It is even possible that Shelley began writing the drama itself sometime in August, if he had not been sketching passages even earlier. Beginning in mid-August, the Shelleys were separated from each other for three weeks, as Shelley and Claire Clairmont left Mary Shelley at the Baths of Lucca to meet with Byron in Venice. In her often cited note to Julian and Maddalo, Mary Shelley states that Prometheus Unbound was begun at I Capuccini, a villa in Este that Byron leased from his friends the Hoppners and loaned to Shelley.20 It is not known when Shelley and Claire Clairmont arrived at Este, but they probably set out on 24 or 25 August for a journey that would have taken less than a day (LPBS, 2:34-38). Thus, if Mary Shelley is correct, composition on the poem proper began late in August or early in September 1818. Indeed, the phrasing of a journal entry written by Mary Shelley when she joined Shelley and Claire Clairmont--"He writes his drama of Prometheus"--may indicate that Shelley was already at work on the poem before she arrived at Este on 5 September (JMWS, 1:226). Hence, the long conversations between Shelley and Byron in Venice that sparked Julian and Maddalo were probably also the immediate catalyst for the actual composition of Prometheus Unbound.21 In any case, there is no doubt that immediately after leaving Venice for Este, Shelley was earnestly engaged in the composition of Act 1.

Shelley probably began drafting Act 1 on loose sheets. He worked infrequently in e.12, which he had apparently brought with him to Este, drafting lines 217-18, 316-22, and roughing out a sequence of lines, which although scattered throughout the notebook, seems eventually to have become Act 1.737-88.22 By 22 September 1818, Shelley's most polished work on Prometheus Unbound was contained in the twenty-six numbered loose sheets (no longer extant) that he asks Mary Shelley, in a letter written from Padua, to bring with her from Este. And, on 8 October, he informs Thomas Peacock: "I have been writing--and indeed have just finished the first act of a lyric and classical drama to be called 'Prometheus Unbound'" (LPBS, 2:43).

Here we might pause briefly to consider the status and contents of the twenty-six pages of manuscript for Prometheus Unbound. That Shelley numbered these sheets suggests that they consisted of running copy, rather than disparate rough drafts for various parts of the act. They would therefore seem to contain, at least, intermediate draft for a large portion of Act 1. Mary Shelley did not arrive with this manuscript until 24 September, the day that Clara Shelley died. If, as the received account would have it, Shelley's progress upon the poem was halted by his daughter's death, not to resume again until March 1819 when he writes Acts 2 and 3 in Rome, then these twenty-six pages must have contained, in light of the letter to Peacock, a draft for virtually the entire first act.23 There is, however, no evidence that Shelley simply stopped writing Prometheus Unbound after Clara's death, although his progress on the poem does seem to have stalled in October.24   For instance, in a puzzling comment to Peacock, written 23-24 January 1819, he repeats, "My 1st Act of Prometheus is complete, & I think you wd. like it" (LPBS, 2:70-71). Apparently Shelley either forgot that he had already told Peacock about finishing Act 1 in October, or he had made significant additions that allowed him in January to consider the act now truly "complete."25

To judge from his line counts, Shelley made few substantive changes after entering the fair copy of Act 1 into e.1 and e.2. Of the final 833 lines in the act, he added a total of twenty-four lines (with the longest addition on e.1, 24r) and canceled four (see Line Counts for Prometheus Unbound [link]). Most, or all, of these revisions were made before Act 4 was written into e.1. A further series of small revisions in word choice, punctuation, and in the cancellation of stage directions appear to have been made in the press transcript.

As indicated by his letter of 22-23 January to Peacock, Shelley clearly had not yet completed Act 2 by the end of January 1819, though the rapidity of his composition in March 1819 suggests that Act 2 and possibly Act 3 already may have been started in draft. Such an inference is supported by Mary Shelley, who--as we have seen--claims that Shelley was meditating "the subject of his drama" and writing "portions of it" as they moved from Este to Rome to Naples and back to Rome again. There are drafts for approximately two hundred of the 687 lines in the printed Act 2 (and for forty-two lines ultimately unused), but much of the extant draft lines are for additions made after Shelley had already "finished" the three-act version of the poem (these are found primarily in HM 2176 and HM 2177).

For his original composition on Act 2, Shelley used loose sheets (as evidenced by the surviving bifolium in c.4) and, at least, notebooks e.11 and e.12. Interestingly, these two notebooks were used only for the first two of the five scenes in the act. The first known draft for Act 2 is in e.12 (in which portions of Act 1 were also drafted). These lines are an early rendering of Panthea's second dream (2.1.133-149), beginning "I had dreams of spring," a line that Shelley altered from "I had a dream of spring" (p. 36), thus suggesting the possibility that he had not yet sketched out what would eventually appear as Panthea's first dream. In fact, it is possible that this sequence comprises Shelley's initial sketch for Act 2, originating in the idea of a dream or dreams of Spring for which Shelley ultimately prepared by writing the transitional lines that now begin the act. Shelley changed notebooks from e.12 to e.11 to develop the succeeding lines of the scene (2.1.162-208),26 but returned to e.12 to draft most of 2.2. He does not appear to have finished drafting Act 2 until the second half of March 1819.

Sometime after Shelley's line counts in e.2 and e.3 were made, but before the poem was printed, 131 lines appear to be added to, and five lines canceled from, the fair copy of Act 2. The bulk of the additional lines are in three sections: 1) the "Song of Spirits" (2.3.54-98), which I tentatively date as having been written in early September 1819; Asia's song ending the act (2.5.72-110), written during Fall 1819; and the dialogue of the fauns (2.2.64-97), also probably written during Fall 1819. Thus, while it is possible that "Song of Spirits" was included in the original press transcript as an insert, the other two sections were probably the main "lyrical insertions" that Shelley sent along with Act 4 to the Gisbornes on 23 December for forwarding to the press. The press transcript, itself, apparently contained a series of small revisions in word choice, punctuation, and stage directions from the fair copy.

Parts of Act 3 may have been composed during the winter of 1818/1819, but most or all of the act was probably written between 13 March 1819 (Shelley's first known trip to the Baths of Caracalla) and 6 April 1819, when he announces in a letter to Peacock that he has finished the poem. There are known drafts only for some sixty of the 512 lines in the act, accounting for one speech by Apollo (3.2.12-17), which was written in e.12, and parts of the closing speech of the Spirit of the Hour (3.4.131-38, 142-79, 190-99), which were written in e.11. Shelley was thus drafting most of the act on loose sheets or in an unknown notebook. Because both the final speech of the poem and the first part of the Preface were drafted in e.11, we can be fairly sure that this notebook was in active use during April 1819.

Although the complexity of Shelley's line counts for Act 3 obscures any analysis of his revision of the fair copy (see Line Counts for Prometheus Unbound [link]), a few points are relatively clear. Sometime after Shelley's early line counts were made in the fair copy, twenty lines were added (not including one line that was left uncounted and unused) and one was canceled before the act was printed. The largest and most important of these additions is a twelve-line insert on e.3, 33r (only eleven lines of which were eventually used). These lines, 3.4.86-96, are quite possibly the latest addition to the act, meant to anticipate the duet between Earth and Moon in Act 4, and were probably written sometime between mid-August and mid-December 1819. Because their purpose is to prepare for Act 4, it is likely that they were not included in the original press transcript of the first three acts and that they were sent to the Press at some later point, possibly along with Act 4 in late December 1819. One other lengthy passage was inserted after Shelley had switched from his early count to a cumulative count: fourteen lines that were apparently drafted directly into e.3, 34r (3.4.111-24). These lines were first missed and then adjusted for in Shelley's cumulative count, and thus were probably written at about the same time he was entering his fair copy. The press transcript apparently contained the same types of changes made in the other acts.

Although Shelley claims that Prometheus Unbound is "finished" by 6 April, it was not actually sent to press until the following September, some five months later. Part of the reason for this delay would seem to be Shelley's frustration at hearing so little from his publisher Ollier, as voiced, for example, in a letter written c.20 July 1819 to Thomas Peacock: "As to Ollier, I don't know what has been published or what has arrived at his hands. My Prometheus though ready, I do not send until I know more" (LPBS, 2:103). Strictly speaking, though, Prometheus Unbound was not yet "ready" to be sent, since the press transcript had not been made. And the reason for that, one suspects, is that Shelley wanted time to revise carefully his most ambitious poem to date before preparing it for the press. Even within his initial letter of 6 April 1819 to Peacock announcing the "completion" of the first three acts, such a plan seems implicit: "My Prometheus Unbound is just finished & in a month or two I shall send it. It is a drama, with characters & mechanism of a kind yet unattempted; & I think the execution is better than any of my former attempts" (LPBS, 2:94).

It is difficult to know whether Shelley on 6 April is referring to the completion of the draft or the fair copy of Prometheus Unbound, partly because we do not know at what stage of composition he transferred his draft for Acts 1-3 to the fair-copy notebooks.27 Conceivably, he could have done so at any time (or times) between the end of September 1818 (when his running draft on loose sheets represented the latest stage of composition) and the beginning of September 1819, when Mary Shelley copied the press transcript from the notebooks. But a note in Mary Shelley's journal for 25 April 1819--"Read S.'s Drama"--sets a more likely terminus ad quem, since she almost certainly would have been reading the fair copy of Prometheus Unbound, rather than Shelley's disparate drafts.28   Much or all of the fair copy of Acts 1-3 was thus probably written between the end of March (after Shelley resumed concentrated work on the poem) and the end of April 1819.

After Shelley completed the fair copy and after the "month or two" he originally thought he needed to ready Prometheus Unbound for the press extended into August, there is reason to believe that Shelley read the manuscript to friends, occasions that may have led him to make further revisions.29 That he did indeed revise the manuscript is implied by a letter of 15 August 1819 to Leigh Hunt, which would seem to date at least some of the work on the first three acts of Prometheus Unbound after the death of William Shelley on 7 June 1819: "Though surrounded by suffering and disquietude, and, latterly, almost overcome by our strange misfortune I have not been idle. My Prometheus is finished, and I am also on the eve of completing another work [The Cenci] . . ." (LPBS, 2:108). At this point, Shelley finally does seem to believe that Prometheus Unbound is complete. In a letter to Ollier c.20 August 1819, he announces: "I have two works [Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci] of some length . . . ready for the press" (LPBS, 2:111). But he probably reviewed and corrected the fair copy of Acts 1-3 one last time before turning it over to Mary Shelley for transcription at the beginning of September 1819.30

Manuscript evidence makes clear, however, that a part of Act 4 had already been drafted even as Shelley wrote again to Ollier on 6 September to inform him: "My 'Prometheus' which has long been finished, is now being transcribed, & will soon be forwarded to you for publication" (LPBS, 2:116-17). A gathering of nine leaves now located at the British Library, but originally a part of e.12,31 contains an intermediate fair copy of The Mask of Anarchy that was completed by mid-September 1819; on the back of the last leaf (f. 9v), almost certainly pre-dating the fair copy of The Mask, is the earliest known version of Act 4, a draft for what are now lines 325-31, the second speech of the love duet between the Spirits of the Earth and Moon.32   The fact is, then, that Shelley began drafting the love duet by early September 1819 at the latest, at least a month before he arrived at Florence, and, quite possibly, even earlier.

Such a fact, nonetheless, does not accord well with the evidence from both Mary Shelley's subsequent account and Shelley's letters. In her 1839 note on Prometheus Unbound, Mary Shelley claims that Act 4 was conceived by Shelley at Florence, where the Shelleys took up residence on 2 October 1819. And, indeed, as late as 15 October 1819 Shelley was still telling Charles Ollier to publish the apparently finished three-act poem (although Ollier may have learned, sometime between 15 October and 15 December 1819, that additions were going to be made to the poem).33 Moreover, the earliest explicit reference to Act 4 in the extant letters is not until 23 December 1819, when Shelley informs the Gisbornes that he "has just finished an additional act to Prometheus" and encloses the press transcript (LPBS, 2:165). On the same day he also notifies Ollier that a new act for Prometheus Unbound will be arriving in England shortly.   Upon this evidence and in ignorance of the dating established by the Mask of Anarchy MS, scholars have dated Act 4 as being written October-December 1819.

We will, of course, never know when the idea of Act 4 first occurred to Shelley. But there are several possible ways of reconciling the divergent evidence we do have. To begin with, had Shelley drafted all of Act 4 up to and including the love duet by early September, it is doubtful that he would have sent the first three acts off to press without even mentioning that a fourth act would be on the way. Nor is it likely that he would have taken until December to finish the rest of the act. It is possible, therefore, that Shelley began drafting some lines for what would become the love duet without yet clearly knowing how or where he would use them.34 He then might have begun Act 4 in earnest sometime in October, as Mary Shelley claims, and placed these lines in the appropriate place. But it is even more likely that sometime during the course of revising the first three acts of Prometheus Unbound between April and September 1819, Shelley began giving serious thought to the possibility of adding Act 4, perhaps while preparing the fair copy for transcription in late August or early September. He could have been at work on the love duet and other sections throughout September, without being convinced until sometime in October that this new material merited addition to the "completed" poem he believed to be "the most perfect of my productions" (LPBS, 2:127). Whatever the exact sequence of events, Act 4 seems to have originated in the love duet between the Spirits of the Earth and the Moon.

The composition of Act 4 is rather fully documented, especially in comparison to the previous three acts. There are drafts for approximately five hundred of the 578 printed lines in Act 4, including passages and lines that are revised more than once.35 These suggest that Act 4 was composed in a series of four discrete movements or set pieces: 1) the opening choruses, lines 1-179; 2) Panthea and Ione's description of the Earth and Moon orbs, lines 194-318; 3) the love duet between Earth and Moon, lines 319-502; and 4) Demogorgon's closing summons and admonition, lines 519-78. Between sections 1 and 2 and, probably between sections 3 and 4, Shelley later added transitional passages spoken by Panthea and Ione; and section 2 itself is, in a sense, a long transitional passage between 1 and 3. Ultimately, the act is structured so that the intricate lyrics sung and spoken by the other characters alternate with the iambic pentameter dialogue of Panthea and Ione. Although the longest movement of the act, the love duet, was apparently the first to be composed, I have not been able to determine the sequence of composition for the other set pieces.36          

Shelley drafted Act 4 in four notebooks (in addition to loose sheets and, possibly, notebooks no longer extant): e.12, HM 2176, HM 2177, and SC 549. Of these, he used e.12 for drafting the opening choruses of Spirits and Hours and the appearance of the Earth and Moon orbs, lines 1-179, 194-318. A transitional passage in blank verse, spoken by Ione and Panthea and consisting of lines 180-93, was written later in order to connect their narrative description of the appearance of the Earth and Moon orbs to the opening choruses. It was drafted in HM 2176, f. *17r, and then inserted into the fair copy.

For most of lines 319-502, the love duet between the Earth and Moon, Shelley worked between HM 2176 and e.12, tending to reserve e.12 for his final or most polished draft of a passage. He wrote several drafts for many of the intricate lyrics in this section, and turned to SC 546 three different times to work out difficult sections (4.319-22, 376-77, 397-99).37 Over the course of developing lines 397-99 through five drafts, he also turned to HM 2177 (f.*21r), the only known time he used this notebook for Act 4. Towards the end of the duet, from line 457 to line 502, he stopped using e.12 (or used pages no longer in the notebook); the only extant drafts are from HM 2176.

Because the draft for Demogorgon's concluding general summons and admonition (ll. 519-78) begins in the same section of HM 2176 (ff. *16r, *16v, *15v) as the original ending of the love duet (ff. *18-*16), it actually may have been written before lines 503-518, another transitional section of blank verse spoken by Panthea and Ione, which was intended to connect the ending of the love duet to Demogorgon's appearance.38 However, although evidence based on the position of Shelley's draft within HM 2176 is, to say the least, questionable, it should be noted that this transitional passage was composed before Shelley wrote the fair copy. There is no extant draft for lines 539-78, which, to judge from the clean state of the fair copy, was certainly drafted elsewhere first.

In writing out the fair copy of Act 4, Shelley no longer reserved a blank facing recto page for possible revisions, as was his practice when copying the earlier acts. He simply wrote on most of the free pages available to him in e.1, perhaps because Act 4 had been drafted more thoroughly than the previous ones. An inexplicable counting error by Shelley makes it difficult to know with certainty just what was included in his count for the early part of the act, but it seems probable that a total of twenty-six lines were added to the fair copy after it was first copied (see Line Counts for Prometheus Unbound [link]). Of these, ten lines, 4.485-94, do not appear in the fair copy, possibly because Shelley had no appropriate place left to insert them in e.1; they were drafted, either in time to be included in the press transcript or at a later date, in HM 2176, f. *27v.39 The longest insert within the fair copy itself is the fourteen-line transitional section, 4.180-93, discussed above and added in e.1 on folios 7r-7v. The only other insert to the fair copy is two lines that run up the right-hand margin of e.1, 9r; they are revised in e.3, 37r.

If, as seems quite likely, Act 4 was drafted out of the sequence in which it eventually appears in the fair copy, then the fair copy itself was made after most or all of the act had already been drafted, probably in late November or early December 1819 (and the insertions to the text could be dated accordingly).40 As the evidence from his letters makes clear, Shelley finished the fair copy of Act 4 in early to mid-December 1819. Indeed, Mary Shelley was already transcribing it for the press by 15 December (a terminus ad quem for Shelley's fair copy) and had completed her work by 23 December, when the transcript was mailed to the Gisbornes for forwarding to the press.41

In sum, a reexamination of the manuscript evidence suggests that Shelley probably did begin writing Prometheus Unbound at Este at the very beginning of September and worked intermittently on the composition of Acts 2 and 3 in the fall and winter of 1818, until he caught fire in Rome during March and early April of 1819, when he brought the poem to its tentative completion--and that he continued to work on the first three acts even after they were supposedly complete. Indeed, an analysis of the fair copy in e.1-e.3 suggests that beyond local changes in words, as many as 175 lines may have been added to, and ten lines canceled from, the first three acts after they were "completed" in April 1819 (see Line Counts for Prometheus Unbound [link]). And, as we have seen, although as late as 6 September 1819, in a letter to Ollier, Shelley is still describing Prometheus Unbound as complete, manuscript evidence indicates that he had already begun drafting what was to become Act 4. In other words, the composition of Prometheus Unbound was a much more fluid, continuous, and revisionary process than we have yet recognized.

The Preface to Prometheus Unbound as published in 1820 was actually composed in two quite distinct sections, written months apart, as manuscript evidence makes clear. The first section, consisting of paragraphs 1-4, was written as fair copy in e.1, sometime between April and early September 1819, and was intended to accompany the original three-act version of Prometheus Unbound to the press. Shelley's fair copy for over half of this section was based on drafts (possibly intermediate) in e. 11, the same notebook in which he had completed drafting Act 3. Although no draft exists for the rest of this section--from the last sentence of paragraph 2 to the end of paragraph 4--the orderly appearance of the MS suggests that Shelley first drafted it elsewhere, probably on loose sheets.42 Paragraphs 3 and 4 were written in a more compact hand and, possibly, a finer pen--indicating that they may have been added to the fair copy somewhat later than the preceding two paragraphs, which were probably written at a single sitting.

The second section of the Preface, consisting of paragraphs 5-9, was written as fair copy in e.3 sometime between mid-October and late December 1819, presumably in December, after Act 4 had been completed. Shelley's fair copy was made from drafts in HM 2177, a notebook he used only relatively late in the composition of Prometheus Unbound. No drafts are extant for the portion of this section that runs from paragraph 8, middle of sentence 5, to the end--a portion that, to judge from its appearance, was drafted within e.3 itself, either as he wrote the fair copy or at a later time.43 Thus, Shelley planned originally to end the revised Preface with, "which the unconscious passenger tramples into the dust." One part of the fair copy that certainly was added later is the last sentence of the Preface in e.3, which is written in the hand of Mary Shelley: "the pile they raise will betray the spot his grave / which might otherwise have been unknown" (f. 30r). This sentence (assuming "{t}he" is meant to begin a new sentence) appears in the published Preface as the final clause of the last sentence.

There is little mystery about what prompted Shelley to add the second section to his Preface. His main impetus came from the notorious review of Laon and Cythna in the Quarterly Review for April 1819, which Shelley probably saw for the first time on 14 October 1819.44 On 15 October 1819, immediately after seeing this review, Shelley wrote to Charles Ollier that "the only remark worth notice in this piece is the assertion that I imitate Wordsworth" (LPBS, 2:127). He then goes on, in a passage quite similar to his remarks in the Preface, to defend himself from charges of imitation, concluding that the best poets of any age are inevitably marked by the "spirit of that age acting on all" (LPBS, 2:127).

Moreover, as Shelley points out in his letter to Ollier, he had already anticipated such criticism in the Preface to Laon and Cythna, in remarks that the reviewer "was too disingenuous to advert to" (LPBS, 2:127). Indeed, the seventh paragraph of the Preface to Laon and Cythna is clearly the prototype both for Shelley's comments to Ollier and for paragraph 9 of the Preface to Prometheus Unbound. It begins: "I have avoided, as I have said before, the imitation of any contemporary style. But there must be a resemblance, which does not depend upon their own will between all writers of any particular age" (Hutchinson, p. 35). The markedly defensive tone of the second section of the Preface to Prometheus Unbound, along with its repetition of points Shelley had already made in the Preface to Laon and Cythna (but which had been ignored by the Quarterly Review), allow us to date it sometime between 15 October (when Shelley saw the review) and 23 December 1819 (when Shelley sent Act 4 and, presumably, the rest of the Preface, to the Gisbornes for shipment to England).

Two puzzles remain, however, involving the second section of the Preface. The first is why Shelley chose to write the fair copy in e.3, when he seems to have reserved three blank pages in e.1 immediately following the original Preface for just such a contingency (ff. 16v-17v). For this there are three possible answers: 1) Shelley believed that there might not be enough blank space left in e.1 for the rest of the Preface and he wished to preserve the new section within a single notebook; 2) the "blank" pages in e.1 had already been filled with Shelley's translation of Plato's Ion; or 3) e.3 was simply near at hand when Shelley decided to begin the fair copy. The first is conceivable. But if the number of blank pages were truly the issue, Shelley could have used e.2, which had more blank pages than either of the other two notebooks. As for the second, the Ion was probably written in late 1819 and could have been in e.1 already. However, in writing out Act 4, which precedes Ion, Shelley purposely skipped over folios 16v-17v, presumably for possible additions to the Preface. Why would he have then filled those pages with the Ion translation unless he had already written the additions to the Preface elsewhere? The third possibility, that e.3 was simply near at hand when Shelley decided to write the fair copy, is thus more likely than the others.

The second puzzle is no easier to solve: why is the last sentence of the Preface written in Mary Shelley's hand?   Again three possible solutions come to mind: 1) Shelley could have dictated it to her; 2) Mary Shelley wrote it into the safekeeping fair copy after it had been added by Shelley to the press copy; 3) Mary Shelley composed it as a suggested revision to the fair copy and Shelley subsequently accepted her suggestion. Of the first and second possibilities, it should be said that there are no other examples in the fair copy of Mary Shelley either taking dictation or making alterations to reflect changes in the press copy. But the first is more likely than the second, since the sentence seems to be drafted here rather than copied from a more polished version. The third possibility is, however, the most probable--and is yet one more piece of evidence suggesting the need for more study of the collaborative role Mary Shelley played in the production of Shelley's works.45


The Notes below are from the 1991 printed edition and have not been updated. Complete bibliographical information for all shortened citations in the Notes can be found in the Bibliography to the printed edition.

  1. For a photofacsimile, see Steven Jones's forthcoming edition in the Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts series.

  2. According to a bibliographical analysis by Dr. Bruce Barker-Benfield, twenty-one leaves are lost from the notebook. In Drafts, Zillman mistakenly states that there are 117 leaves in the notebook.

  3. For a photofacsimile, see Donald Reiman's edition of The Mask of Anarchy.

  4. For a photofacsimile, see Webb, "Avalanche," p. 11.

  5. Mary Quinn will edit a photofacsimile edition of this notebook for publication in the series, The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics (Garland Publishing).

  6. See Mary Quinn's bibliographical analysis in her recently published photofacsimile edition of the notebook.

  7. For a photofacsimile, see SC, 6:867, which lists the draft as being for 2.3.82-89.

  8. For a photofacsimile, see SC, 6:1073. These draft fragments were written on two of several blank pages at the back of the Philosophical View of Reform notebook.

  9. After line 71 the name "Asia" is written, as if her speech were about to be given; this is the speech found in e.8. Zillman, who transcribes the translation in d.1, was not aware of the continuation in e.8. For a photofacsimile of d.1, see E. B. Murray's edition of the notebook.

  10. For a full bibliographical description of 1820, see Zillman, pp. 9-10. For more information concerning the publication of the volume, see below.

  11. The lines drafted in HM 2177 and HM 2176 for the first three acts were all later additions to the poem. Shelley probably saved the loose bifolium in adds. c.4 not for the draft of Prometheus Unbound (on 6r), but rather for the prose fragment located on 7r, and titled "Defence of Atheism" by Timothy Webb (see "Avalanche," p. 2). As the list of manuscripts above indicates, there are also two notebooks, Bodleian Manuscripts Shelley adds. e.6 and e.4, with draft possibly related to Prometheus Unbound; and Shelley translated into Italian parts of Act 2 and Act 4 in Bodleian Manuscripts Shelley d.1 and adds. e.8.

  12. We therefore cannot know if Shelley continued to add to the twenty-six sheets he had accumulated in this draft by 24 September 1818. He probably finished at least Act 1 in this fashion and may possibly have continued the running draft for the subsequent two acts.

  13. See Reiman, SC, 6:1070-71, and The Mask of Anarchy, p. 2.

  14. For example, the erotic song of the Earth and Moon duet in Act 4 not only crystallizes many of the thematic and stylistic impulses of the earlier acts, but also may have influenced the creation of a similarly epithalamial duet when Asia's song was added to the song of the "Voice" at the end of Act 2.

  15. We do need to recall that Mary Shelley is writing some twenty years after the fact, and it is impossible to tell how much she is relying upon her own memory and how much on Shelley's statements in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound and in his letters (copies of which she had gathered from friends). To judge from Shelley's line counts in the fair copy, before revisions Act 1 contained 813 of the 1,867 lines in the three-act drama. For a discussion of just how much of Act 1 Shelley actually completed at Este, see below.

  16. Whatever Shelley's actual motives were in so ambiguously alluding to the genesis of the poem, it did mislead more than one reader into assuming that Prometheus Unbound was conceived in Rome. For instance, Jane, Lady Shelley, never one to miss an opportunity to associate Shelley's poetry with Classical art and the Eternal City, writes in Shelley Memorials:

    In the spring of 1819, Shelley wrote one of the greatest of his works, the Prometheus Unbound. The spot he selected for his study was that occupied by the ruined baths of Caracalla. . . . Here he worked with wonderful assuidity, and very soon completed the drama in three acts: the fourth was added several months after, when the poet was at Florence. All attentive readers of this wonderful work will agree with Mrs. Shelley in thinking the lucent atmosphere of Rome, the exquisite vegetation of the surrounding wastes, and the sublime objects of art, whether of antiquity or of later times, which met his eyes in every direction, helped the sensitive imagination of Shelley to conceive those superhuman visions of loveliness and awful might which throng the scenes of Prometheus Unbound. (pp. 110-11)

    Ignoring Mary Shelley's other statements about when and where Prometheus Unbound was actually begun, and following instead Shelley's own lead, Jane Shelley presents a foreshortened view of the process of composition, which has Shelley writing the first three acts entirely in Rome with what would indeed have been "wonderful assuidity."

  17. On her return journey to England in 1823, Mary Shelley followed the same route she had taken to Italy with Shelley in 1818. After passing through Savoy she wrote to the Hunts about "la Montagne des Eschelles, whose dark high precipices towering high above, gave S--- the idea of his Prometheus . . . " (LMWS, 1:357).

  18. It is difficult to know when Shelley first read Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, no less when he began conceiving of his own drama on the subject. Stuart Curran remarks that "at about the time the adolescent Shelley finished his tutelage at Eton College and transferred to University College, Oxford. . . . Great Britain was inundated by Aeschylus," with seven collected editions of Aeschylus's surviving works and fourteen editions of the individual dramas made available between 1795 and 1825 ("Political Prometheus," p. 434). Thanks to Hogg, we know that Prometheus Vinctus was the first work recommended to Shelley when he reported to his tutor at University College (see Life, 1:70). Shelley ordered a copy of Aeschylus in 1812 from Thomas "Clio" Rickman (LPBS, 1:344); and, as in John Frank Newton's Return to Nature; or, A Defence of the Vegetable Regimen (1811), Prometheus appears in Queen Mab as the first carnivore. We also know that Shelley read Prometheus Unbound in 1816 and translated it for Byron that same year, and that by 1820 he could translate the poem extemporaneously in fluid blank verse (see Medwin, Life, 1:268, 2:13). For the literary and political contexts in which Shelley would have found Aeschylus's work embedded, see Curran, "Political Prometheus." Curran further argues that the chief influence on the genesis of Prometheus Unbound was the libretto for Salvatore Viganò's ballet Prometeo, which he thinks Shelley may have read in Milan during April 1818 (see pp. 446-55). There is no question that Shelley's experience of opera and ballet played an important part in his conception of Prometheus Unbound, as has been ably argued by Curran and by Ronald Tetreault (see "Shelley at the Opera," ELH 48 [1981]: 144-71).

  19. Of course, as noted above, Shelley may not yet have had the notebook in June 1818.

  20. The primary reason for Shelley's meeting with Byron was to resolve issues of custody regarding Allegra, the daughter of Byron and Claire Clairmont. Byron made I Capuccini available to the Shelley household so that Claire would have easy access to Allegra, whom Byron had placed with the Hoppners in Venice.

  21. For Byron's influence on Prometheus Unbound, see Charles E. Robinson, Shelley and Byron, pp.113-37. For the influence of Byron on Prometheus Unbound and the Prometheus Unbound volume, see Neil Fraistat, The Poem and the Book, pp. 147-51.

  22. In Drafts, Zillman gives only lines 217-18, 753-54, 765, and 772-79. I believe that there is an early draft of 1.316-22 in e.12, p. 52, and an early sketch of lines 737-88 on pp. 26 and 35. Shelley was away from Este between 22 and 28 September. During this time he may have been composing in a notebook such as e.12, which he could have easily brought with him.

  23. Without knowing the size of these sheets, we can credit this as possible, although it would mean that Shelley wrote approximately thirty lines on each page, about ten lines more than he usually got to a sheet unless he were writing minutely--and he had no reason to write minutely. (Indeed, the size of his handwriting usually adjusted to the size of the page.) It would mean, as well, that Shelley drafted the entire first act in three weeks (rather than, say, the five weeks from the beginning of September through the first week of October), which is also possible.

  24. For whatever reasons, after completing, or nearly completing, Act 1 of Prometheus Unbound, Shelley seems to have turned his attention in October towards work on Julian and Maddalo and "Lines written among the Euganean Hills," both also apparently begun at Este.

  25. In the 8 October letter, which was written to inform Peacock of Clara Shelley's death, Shelley asked if Peacock could tell him where Cicero mentions Aeschylus's Prometheus Unbound. As a subsequent quotation from Cicero's Tusculan Disputations in e.11 (p. 115 [reverso]) makes clear, Shelley does indeed find out this information, quite possibly from a letter written by Peacock on 1 November 1818 (and now lost). If there were correspondence between the two on this subject, it is doubtful that Shelley would have forgotten that he had told Peacock about finishing Act 1, and therefore more likely that he had reworked his draft of the act. Nicholas A. Joukovsky, whose edition of Peacock's letters for Oxford University Press is currently in progress, informs me that there are also missing letters from Peacock to Shelley on c.29 December 1818 and 31 January 1819, which would be two other letters in which Peacock could have answered Shelley's question.

  26. In e.11, immediately preceding Prometheus Unbound, 2.1.162-end, which is on pp. 114-110 [reverso], is the quotation from Cicero's Tusculan Disputations that Shelley eventually used as the epigraph for the Prometheus Unbound volume: "Audisne haec Amphiare, sub terram abdite?" The quotation is headed "To the Ghost of Aeschylus" and appears on p. 115 [reverso]. Both the epigraph and the lines for 2.1 are in pencil and they are the only material for Prometheus Unbound to appear in this part of the notebook. We can therefore infer that they were written at approximately the same time. Whereas we do not know when Shelley learned that Cicero mentions Aeschylus's Prometheus Unbound in Tusculan Disputations, we do know that he asked Peacock for this information in his letter of 8 October 1818, and that Peacock wrote back on 1 November 1818 (see the previous Note). Assuming, first, that Peacock actually answered Shelley's query in his return letter (now lost), which Shelley received on 17 or 18 November, and, second, that Shelley would have looked at Tusculan Disputations shortly thereafter, we could hypothesize a date of late November for the quotation in e.11 and hence a date of late November or early December for the composition of the beginning of Act 2. This is admittedly a fragile set of assumptions, especially since Shelley could have found out about the Tusculan Disputations from a source other than Peacock. But, interestingly enough, Cicero would have been very much on Shelley's mind at the very end of November, when--on his way from Rome to Naples--Shelley passed near and probably visited his tomb and villa (see White, Life, 2:61, 81).

  27. I cannot prove, either through collation or evidence from the ink, any direct transfers from the extant drafts to the fair copy--although my collation indicates that the original second scene of Act 2 (i. e., ll. 1-63) may well have been directly transferred to the fair copy. The rough and scattered state of much of the extant draft for Acts 1-3 suggests that either Shelley kept a running intermediate draft from which he made the fair copy, or he transferred his drafts to the fair-copy notebooks periodically.

  28. "S.'s Drama" is undoubtedly Prometheus Unbound, as the editors of JMWS recognize (1:260n); recall, too, Mary Shelley's earlier entry, "He writes his drama of Prometheus" (JMWS, 1:226). It is possible, though not likely, that Mary Shelley could have read Prometheus Unbound in the form of the running intermediate draft if Shelley kept such a draft for the entire poem.

  29. On 15 December 1819, Shelley informed Ollier that Prometheus Unbound had "already been read to many persons" (LPBS, 2:164).   It is clear from Shelley's letter to Ollier of 14 May 1820 that the Gisbornes were among those to whom Shelley had read the poem--quite possibly in the spring or summer of 1819 (see LPBS, 2:196).

  30. There are numerous clarifications of individual letters, as well as alterations of capitalization and punctuation in the fair copy, some of which may have been made in preparation for transcription.

  31. For a bibliographical description of this gathering, see Reiman's edition of The Mask of Anarchy, p. 5. My hypothesis that this gathering was originally a part of e.12 has been confirmed by a bibliographical analysis made by Bruce Barker-Benfield, who has discovered that the nine leaves are from the third quire of the notebook.

  32. See Reiman's edition of Mask, p. 26. Although this ends up as the second speech of the duet, it may have been Shelley's first attempt at drafting the duet. On the other hand, Zillman believes that f. 9v contains the first draft for 4.328-31, but the second draft for 4.325-27, which he thinks was first drafted in HM 2176, f. *26v (Drafts, p. 76). The evidence, based on genetic development of the lines, is inconclusive. But if Zillman is right, then the drafts for at least the early part of the duet in HM 2176 and in SC 549, f. 140r--the latter of which is dated ?November-December 1819 in SC, 6:1072-73--can also be dated as written by early September 1819. Without proof to the contrary, it would be reasonable to assume that the rest of the duet was drafted at approximately the same time.

  33. Shelley's earliest known reference to the "additions" to Prometheus Unbound is in his 15 December 1819 letter to Ollier. However, this letter refers to "the additions" (LPBS, 2:164) as something Ollier was already expecting, news that had probably arrived from Shelley sometime after his 15 October letter, which encouraged Ollier to "print and publish" Prometheus Unbound "in the season" (LPBS, 2:127). It is apparently not until 23 December that Shelley first informs Ollier that the additions to Prometheus Unbound consist of "another Act" and some "lyrical insertions" (SC, 6:1099).

  34. In a similar way, Shelley appears to have drafted the opening lines for Epipsychidion (albeit in Italian) prior to writing the intermediate fair copy of The Mask of Anarchy and, hence, long before he met Teresa Viviani and composed the rest of the poem (see Reiman's edition of The Mask, p. 11).

  35. For a complete transcription, see Zillman, Drafts, pp. 44-101.

  36. It is likely, however, that sections 1 and 2 were composed before section 4. A more complete rendering of this sequence of composition awaits the kind of close analysis that may be available after the e.12 and HM 2176 notebooks are edited for the Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts series and the Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics series (respectively).

  37. Donald Reiman persuasively corrects Zillman's anaylsis of the sequence of composition for 4.376-77, 397-99, in SC, 6:1072-75.

  38. This transitional section is drafted in HM 2176, f. *32v.

  39. These lines could have been sent in the "two little papers of corrections and additions" for Prometheus Unbound that Shelley forwarded to the Gisbornes, who were on their way to England, on 26 May 1820 (LPBS, 2:201).  .

  40. It is thus probable that Shelley's nearly indecipherable heading on the first page of the fair copy for Act 4 reads "Act 4," with a following page number, "1," rather than "Sept 11" (see the headnote to e.1, 2r).

  41. The first known mention of Act 4 of Prometheus Unbound comes in a letter Shelley writes to Ollier on 15 December 1819: "Let Prometheus be printed without delay. You will receive the additions, which Mrs. S. is now transcribing, in a few days" (LPBS, 2:163-64). That the "additions" to which Shelley refers include Act 4 is made clear in his 23 December 1819 letter to the Gisbornes, which accompanied the completed press transcript: "I have just finished an additional act to Prometheus which Mary is now transcribing" (LPBS, 2:165). John Gisborne's endorsement on the letter indicates that the press transcript for Act 4 was enclosed.

  42. There are drafts for the Preface in e.11, pp. 56, 58-61. Shelley may have left e.11 for loose sheets because, starting on page 62, most of the succeeding pages were already filled by Julian and Maddalo.

  43. Judging from the resemblance in ink between Shelley's draft and the fair copy, Freeman believes that the transfer from the draft into e.3 was made almost immediately (p. 23). Such evidence is simply inconclusive, however.

  44. Although Shelley believed this review to be written by Robert Southey, it was--as is now well known--the work of John Taylor Coleridge.

  45. See, for example, Reiman's suggestion in his edition of The Mask of Anarchy that Shelley characteristically left gaps in his manuscripts that he may have expected Mary Shelley to fill, "for after his death she did insert words into such blanks in various poems, including 'The Triumph of Life'" (p. 13).