Percy Shelley: Poems

Shelley's heart

Shelley's widow Mary bought a cliff-top home at Boscombe, Bournemouth in 1851. She intended to live there with her son, Percy, and his wife Jane, and had her own parents moved to an underground mausoleum in the town. The property is now known as Shelley Manor. When Lady Jane Shelley was to be buried in the family vault, it was discovered that in her copy of Adonaïs was an envelope containing ashes, which she had identified as belonging to Shelley the poet.[34] The family had preserved the story that when Shelley's body had been burned, his friend Edward Trelawny had snatched the whole heart from the pyre.[33][35][36] These same accounts claim that the heart was buried with Shelley's son, Sir Percy Florence Shelley. All accounts agree, however, that the remains now lie in the vault in the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Bournemouth.

For several years in the 20th century some of Trelawny's collection of Shelley ephemera, including a painting of Shelley as a child, a jacket, and a lock of his hair were on display in "The Shelley Rooms", a small museum at Shelley Manor. When the museum finally closed, these items were returned to Lord Abinger, who descends from a niece of Lady Jane Shelley.


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