Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets. American literary critic Harold Bloom describes him as "a superb craftsman, a lyric poet without rival, and surely one of the most advanced sceptical intellects ever to write a poem." A radical in his poetry as well as in his political and social views, Shelley did not achieve fame during his lifetime, but recognition of his achievements in poetry grew steadily following his death and he became an important influence on subsequent generations of poets including Browning, Swinburne, Hardy and Yeats.
Shelley’s critical reputation fluctuated in the twentieth century, but in recent decades he has achieved increasing critical acclaim for the sweeping momentum of his poetic imagery, his mastery of genres and verse forms, and the complex interplay of sceptical, idealist, and materialist ideas in his work. Among his best-known works are "Ozymandias" (1818), "Ode to the West Wind" (1819), "To a Skylark" (1820), and the political ballad “The Mask of Anarchy” (1819). His other major works include the verse drama The Cenci (1819) and long poems such as Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude (1815), Julian and Maddalo (1819), Adonais (1821), Prometheus Unbound (1820)—widely considered his masterpiece--Hellas (1822), and his final, unfinished work, The Triumph of Life (1822).
Shelley also wrote prose fiction and a quantity of essays on political, social, and philosophical issues. Much of this poetry and prose was not published in his lifetime, or only published in expurgated form, due to the risk of prosecution for political and religious libel. From the 1820s, his poems and political and ethical writings became popular in Owenist, Chartist, and radical political circles and later drew admirers as diverse as Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, and George Bernard Shaw.
Shelley's life was marked by family crises, ill health, and a backlash against his atheism, political views and defiance of social conventions. He went into permanent self-exile in Italy in 1818, and over the next four years produced what Leader and O'Neill call "some of the finest poetry of the Romantic period". His second wife, Mary Shelley, was the author of Frankenstein. He died in a boating accident in 1822 at the age of twenty-nine.
Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on 4 August 1792 at Field Place, Broadbridge Heath, near Horsham, West Sussex, England. He was the eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley (1753–1844), a Whig Member of Parliament for Horsham and his wife, Elizabeth Pilfold (1763–1846), the daughter of a successful butcher. He had four younger sisters and one much younger brother. Shelley’s early childhood was sheltered and mostly happy. He was particularly close to his sisters and his mother, who encouraged him to hunt, fish and ride. At age six, he was sent to a day school run by the vicar of Warnham church, where he displayed an impressive memory and gift for languages.
In 1802 he entered the Syon House Academy of Brentford, Middlesex, where he was bullied and unhappy and sometimes responded with violent rage. He also began suffering from the nightmares, hallucinations and sleep walking that were to periodically afflict him throughout his life. Shelley developed an interest in science which supplemented his voracious reading of tales of mystery, romance and the supernatural. During his holidays at Field Place, his sisters were often terrified at being subjected to his experiments with gunpowder, acids and electricity.
In 1804, Shelley entered Eton College, a period which he later recalled with loathing. He was subjected to particularly severe mob bullying which the perpetrators called "Shelley-baits". His interest in the occult and science continued, and contemporaries describe him giving an electric shock to a master, blowing up a tree stump with gunpowder and attempting to raise spirits with occult rituals. In his senior years, Shelley came under the influence of a part-time teacher, Dr James Lind, who encouraged his interest in the occult and introduced him to liberal and radical authors. In his last term, his first novel Zastrozzi appeared and he had established a following among his fellow students.
Prior to enrolling for University College, Oxford in October 1810, Shelley completed Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire (written with his sister Elizabeth), the verse melodrama The Wandering Jew and the gothic novel St. Irvine; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance (published 1811).
At Oxford Shelley attended few lectures, instead spending long hours reading and conducting scientific experiments in the laboratory he set up in his room. He met a fellow student, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, who became his closest friend. Shelley became increasingly politicised under Hogg's influence, developing strong radical and anti-Christian views which were dangerous in the reactionary political climate prevailing during Britain's war with Napoleonic France.
In the winter of 1810–1811, Shelley published a series of anonymous political poems and tracts, resulting in his expulsion from Oxford on 25 March 1811, along with Hogg. Hearing of his son's expulsion, Shelley's father threatened to cut all contact with Shelley unless he agreed to return home and study under tutors appointed by him. Shelley's refusal to do so led to a falling-out with his father.
In late December 1810, Shelley had met Harriet Westbrook, a pupil at the same boarding school as Shelley's sisters. They started to correspond frequently that winter. Shelley’s infatuation with Harriet developed in the months following his expulsion, when he was under severe emotional strain due to the conflict with his family, his bitterness over the breakdown of his romance with his cousin Harriet Grove, and his unfounded belief that he might be suffering from a fatal illness. Harriet Westbrook’s elder sister Eliza, to whom Harriet was very close, encouraged the young girl's romance with Shelley.
Shelley’s correspondence with Harriet intensified in July, while he was holidaying in Wales, and in response to her urgent pleas for his protection, he returned to London in early August. Putting aside his philosophical objections to matrimony, he left with the sixteen-year-old Harriet for Edinburgh on 25 August, and they were married there on the 28th.
Hearing of the elopement, Harriet’s father, John Westbrook, and Shelley’s father, Timothy, cut off the allowances of the bride and groom.
Surviving on borrowed money, Shelley tried to settle matters with his father, without any success, while Harriet's sister Eliza moved in with them.
Shelley wrote to William Godwin, author of Political Justice, offering himself as his devoted disciple. Godwin advised Shelley to reconcile with his father, become a scholar before he published anything else, and give up his avowed plans for political agitation in Ireland.
At this time Shelley was also involved in an intense platonic relationship with Elizabeth Hitchener, a 28-year-old unmarried schoolteacher of advanced views, with whom he had been corresponding. Hitchener, whom Shelley called the "sister of my soul" and "my second self", became his confidante and intellectual companion as he developed his views on politics, religion, ethics and personal relationships.
Shelley also met his father’s patron, Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk, who helped secure the reinstatement of Shelley’s allowance. With Harriet’s allowance also restored, Shelley now had the funds for his Irish venture.
On 23 June Harriet gave birth to a girl, Eliza Ianthe Shelley, and in the following months the relationship between Shelley and his wife deteriorated. Shelley resented the influence Harriet’s sister had over her, while Harriet was alienated by Shelley’s close friendship with an attractive widow, Harriet Boinville, and her daughter Cornelia Turner. Following Ianthe’s birth, the Shelleys moved frequently across London, Wales, the Lake District, Scotland and Berkshire to escape creditors and search for a home.
In March 1814, Shelley remarried Harriet in London to settle any doubts about the legality of their Edinburgh wedding and secure the rights of their child. Nevertheless, the Shelleys lived apart for most of the following months, and Shelley reflected bitterly on: "my rash & heartless union with Harriet".
In May 1814, Shelley began visiting his mentor Godwin almost daily, and soon fell in love with Mary, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Godwin. Shelley and Mary declared their love for each other during a visit to her mother’s grave. When Shelley told Godwin that he intended to leave Harriet and live with Mary, his mentor banished him from the house and forbade Mary from seeing him. Shelley and Mary eloped to Europe on 28 July, taking Mary’s step-sister Claire Clairmont with them. Before leaving, Shelley had secured a loan of £3,000 but had left most of the funds at the disposal of Godwin and Harriet, who was now pregnant.
Shelly and Mary returned to England on 13 September, and Shelly spent the next few months trying to raise loans and avoid bailiffs. Mary was pregnant, lonely, depressed and ill. Her mood was not improved when she heard that on 30 November Harriet had given birth to Charles Bysshe Shelley, heir to the Shelley fortune and baronetcy.
In early January 1815, Shelley’s grandfather, Sir Bysshe died leaving an estate worth £220,000. However, the settlement of the estate, and a financial settlement between Shelley and his father (now Sir Timothy), wasn’t concluded until April the following year.
In February 1815, Mary gave premature birth to a baby girl who died ten days later, deepening her depression.
In August Shelley and Mary moved to Bishopsgate where Shelley worked on Alastor, a long poem in blank verse based on the myth of Narcissus and Echo. Alastor was published in an edition of 250 in early 1816 to poor sales and largely unfavourable reviews from the conservative press.
On 24 January 1816, Mary gave birth to William Shelley. Shelley was delighted to have another son, but was suffering from the strain of prolonged financial negotiations with his father, Harriet and William Godwin. Shelley showed signs of delusional behaviour and was contemplating an escape to the continent.
Mary’s step-sister Claire Clairmont, who had affair with Lord Byron, introduced him to Shelley in Geneva, where Shelley, Byron and the others engaged in discussions about literature, science and "various philosophical doctrines".
Shelley and Byron then took a boating tour around Lake Geneva, which inspired Shelley to write his "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", his first substantial poem since Alastor.
In January 1817 Claire gave birth to a daughter by Byron who she named Alba, but later renamed Allegra in accordance with Byron's wishes. Shelley made provision for Claire and the baby in his will.
In December 1816 Shelley's estranged wife Harriet drowned herself in the Serpentine. Harriet, pregnant and living alone at the time, believed that she had been abandoned by her new lover. In her suicide letter she asked Shelley to take custody of their son Charles but to leave their daughter in her sister Eliza's care.
Shelley married Mary Godwin on 30 December, despite his philosophical objections to the institution.
In March 1817 the Shelleys moved to the village of Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The Shelley household included Claire and her baby Allegra, both of whose presence was resented by Mary. Shelley's generosity with money and increasing debts also led to financial and marital stress, as did Godwin's frequent requests for financial help.
On 2 September Mary gave birth to a daughter, Clara Everina Shelley. Soon after, Shelley left for London with Claire, which increased Mary's resentment towards her step-sister.
In December 1817 he wrote "Ozymandias", which is considered to be one of his finest sonnets.
On 12 March 1818 the Shelleys and Claire left England to escape its "tyranny civil and religious". A doctor had also recommended that Shelley go to Italy for his chronic lung complaint, and Shelley had arranged to take Claire's daughter, Allegra, to her father Byron who was now in Venice. On their journey to Venice, Shelly and Mary's baby daughter Clara became seriously ill on the journey and died on 24 September in Venice. Following Clara's death, Mary fell into a long period of depression and emotional estrangement from Shelley.
The Shelleys moved to Naples than Rome. In Rome, Shelley was in poor health, probably suffering from nephritis and tuberculosis which later was in remission. Nevertheless, he made significant progress on three major works: Julian and Maddalo, Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci. Julian and Maddalo is an autobiographical poem which explores the relationship between Shelley and Byron and analyses Shelley's personal crises of 1818 and 1819. The poem was completed in the summer of 1819, but was not published in Shelley's lifetime. Prometheus Unbound is a long dramatic poem inspired by Aeschylus's retelling of the Prometheus myth. It was completed in late 1819 and published in 1820. The Cenci is a verse drama of rape, murder and incest based on the story of the Renaissance Count Cenci of Rome and his daughter Beatrice. Shelley completed the play in September and the first edition was published that year. It was to become one of his most popular works and the only one to have two authorised editions in his lifetime.
Shelley's three-year-old son William died in June, probably of malaria. The new tragedy caused a further decline in Shelley's health and deepened Mary's depression.
On 12 November, Mary gave birth to a boy, Percy Florence Shelley in Florence. Around the time of Percy's birth, the Shelleys met Sophia Stacey, who was a ward of one of Shelley's uncles and was staying at the same pension as the Shelleys. Sophia, a talented harpist and singer, formed a friendship with Shelley while Mary was preoccupied with her newborn son. Shelley wrote at least five love poems and fragments for Sophia including "Song written for an Indian Air".
The Shelleys moved to Pisa in January 1820. Following the death of Keats in 1821, Shelley wrote Adonais, which Harold Bloom considers one of the major pastoral elegies. The poem was published in Pisa in July 1821, but sold few copies.
In November 1821 Byron moved into Villa Lanfranchi in Pisa, just across the river from the Shelleys. Byron became the centre of the "Pisan circle" which was to include Shelley, Thomas Medwin, Edward Williams and Edward Trelawny.
In the early months of 1822 Shelley became increasingly close to Jane Williams, who was living with her partner Edward Williams in the same building as the Shelleys. Shelley wrote a number of love poems for Jane.
Mary almost died from a miscarriage on 16 June, her life only being saved by Shelley's effective first aid. During this time, Shelley was writing his final major poem, the unfinished The Triumph of Life, which Harold Bloom has called "the most despairing poem he wrote".
On 1 July, Shelley and Edward Williams sailed in Shelley's new boat the Don Juan, custom-built for him in Genoa, to Livorno where Shelley met Leigh Hunt and Byron in order to make arrangements for a new journal, The Liberal. After the meeting, on 8 July, Shelley, Williams and their boat boy sailed out of Livorno for Lerici. A few hours later, the Don Juan and its inexperienced crew were lost in a storm.
Shelley's badly-decomposed body washed ashore at Viareggio ten days later and was identified by Trelawny from the clothing and a copy of Keats's Lamia in a jacket pocket. On 16 August, his body was cremated on a beach near Viareggio and the ashes were buried in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome.
Shelley's ashes were reburied in a different plot at the cemetery in 1823. His grave bears the Latin inscription Cor Cordium (Heart of Hearts), and a few lines of "Ariel's Song" from Shakespeare's The Tempest:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea change
Into something rich and strange.
When Shelley's body was cremated on the beach, his "unusually small" heart resisted burning, possibly due to calcification from an earlier tubercular infection. Trelawny gave the scorched heart to Hunt, who preserved it in spirits of wine and refused to hand it over to Mary. But he finally relented and the heart was eventually buried either at St Peter's Church, Bournemouth or in Christchurch Priory.
Aimée de Heeren, born Aimée Soto-Maior de Sá or Aimée de Sotomayor (3 August 1903 – 13 September 2006) was a Brazilian socialite and secret service agent keeping Getulio Vargas away from a WW2 alliance with Germany. She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1996.
She was the sister of Vera de Sá Sottomaior, who had been married to John Felix Charles "Ivor" Bryce, Randal Plunkett, 19th Baron of Dunsany and Sir Walter Frederic Pretyman. Through her sister, she is the aunt of the 20th Lord Dunsany.
Aimée de Heeren was born in Castro, Paraná. She was the daughter of Genésio de Sá Soutomayor, a school teacher and Julieta Sampaio Quentel.
In the late 1920s, she met American inventor Thomas Edison.
In the 1930s, she moved to Rio de Janeiro, where she married Luís Simões Lopes, chief of staff of President Getúlio Vargas. According to rumours, de Heeren was the mistress of the officially married President, and lived at the Catete Palace, the seat of the President of Brazil. De Heeren never admitted to nor denied being his mistress.
Decades after the Vargas' death in 1954, his secret diary was published with multiple references to his "bem-amada" (English: "beloved"). Some historians believe that the "bem-amada" was Aimée de Heeren.
In 1938, she was sent to France to find information for President Getulio Vargas who was invited to join the Axis powers. Dissimulated as a "fashionista" Aimée met many people from society with French, British and also German background. Among them the German lawyer and resistance fighter Helmuth James Graf von Moltke who gave her confidential information about Germany. With these information she influenced President Vargas to get away from an alliance with Axis.
There was also the fashion designer Coco Chanel, with whom she was seen at many receptions, including the two Circus Bal events given by Elsie de Wolfe. Chanel and Aimée de Heeren remained close friends, particularly towards the end of Chanel's life.
According to the US Vogue editor Bettina Ballard, Aimée de Heeren, at the time called Aimée Lopez or Aimée Lopez de Sotto Major, made a huge impact on French society.
I particularly remember the season when Aimee was lionized in Paris. She was so pretty, so genuinely nice, carried gaiety with her like a fan, and she was almost eaten alive. Hung with diamonds, she was pushed from fittings to balls, never allowed a moment for private conquest because every hostess needed her for her party to prove that she could draw the lioness of the season. Aimee just wanted to dance and flirt and have fun. That wasn't what Paris expected of her."
Due to the Nazi occupation of France, she was forced to emigrate to the U.S., where she met with Joseph P. Kennedy Jr, the oldest of the Kennedy brothers, who she had fallen in love with while in Europe. Her friendship with the Kennedy family lasted until her death.
She later married the Spanish-American Rodman Arturo Heeren, grandson of Antonio Heeren, 1st Count of Heeren, and great-grandson of John Wanamaker, the founder of the Wanamaker Department Stores. They had homes in Paris, New York City, Palm Beach, Florida and Biarritz, but never stayed in one location very long. The couple had one daughter: Cristina Heeren y Sá de Sotomayor, 5th Countess of Heeren.
Several times, de Heeren was in the list of best dressed women in the world, and a 1941 edition of Time magazine included her in a list of "Ten Best Dressed Woman in the World".
Over the decades de Heeren was invited to many high-profile weddings and events of royalty and the political and Hollywood elite, including:
She was also invited to various state receptions in the Élysée Palace by Vincent Auriol, Charles de Gaulle, Claude Pompidou, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac, and numerous galas in Paris and Versailles by Baron Alexis de Redé, including at the Hotel Lambert and the Palace of Versailles.
While in Paris, she took online courses at the Crèmerie de Paris. This resulted in the creation of the Brazilian White Pages.
According to the phone book of Biarritz, until she was aged 102 she swam in the Atlantic daily while in the city.
In 2005, at the age of 102, she traveled to Belgrade to attend the 60th birthday of Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, at the White Palace. She died the following year, in New York City at the age of 103.
Doris Clare Zinkeisen (31 July 1898 – 3 January 1991) was a Scottish theatrical stage and costume designer, painter, commercial artist, and writer. She was best known for her work in theatrical design.
Doris Zinkeisen was born in Clynder House in Rosneath, Argyll, Scotland. her father Victor Zinkeisen was a timber merchant and amateur artist from Glasgo whose family were originally from Bohemia and had been settled in Scotland for two hundred years. She had a younger sister, Anna Zinkeisen, who also became an artist.The family left Scotland and moved to Pinner, near Harrow in 1909. Zinkeisen attended the Harrow School of Art for four years and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools in 1917 together with her sister Anna. During World War I Zinkeisen served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment at a hospital in Northwood, Middlesex.
Zinkeisen shared a studio in London with her sister during the 1920s and 1930s from where she embarked on her career as a painter, commercial artist, and theatrical designer.
Zinkeisen's realist style made her popular as a portraitist and she became a well-known society painter. The subject matter of her paintings, society portraiture, equestrian portraiture, and scenes from the parks of London and Paris reflect the lifestyle of the upper class at the time. An early success was her 1925 portrait of the actor Elsa Lanchester.
She also worked widely in other media as an illustrator and commercial artist including producing advertising posters for several British mainline railway companies and murals for the RMS Queen Mary.
Zinkeisen produced a number of posters for London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), Southern Railway (SR), and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in the 1930s which often featured historical themes.
In 1935, John Brown and Company Shipbuilders of Clydebank commissioned both of the Zinkeisen sisters to paint the murals in the Verandah Grill, a restaurant and night-club on the ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary. The murals, on the theme of entertainment, depicted circus and theatre scenes and can still be seen on the ship, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California. Zinkeisen was also involved in planning the interior decoration which featured a parquet dance floor surrounded by black Wilton carpets, star-studded red velvet curtains and a sweeping illuminated balustrade whose colours changed in time with the music. Writing in Vogue in 1936, Cecil Beaton described the Verandah Grill as 'By far the prettiest room on any ship – becomingly lit, gay in colour and obviously so successful that it would be crowded if twice its present size'. The largest mural was damaged during World War II and restored by Zinkeisen after the war.
The Zinkeisen sisters also contributed murals to the RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1940.
During World War II, Zinkeisen joined the St John Ambulance Brigade and worked as a nurse in London. She worked in the casualty department in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Zinkeisen worked in the casualty department in the mornings and painted in the afternoons, recording the events of the day.
In 1944, Doris and her sister Anna were commissioned by United Steel Companies (USC) to produce twelve paintings that were reproduced in the trade and technical press in Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The images were subsequently collated in a book, This Present Age, published in 1946.
Following the liberation of Europe in 1945, Zinkeisen was commissioned by the War Artists' Advisory Committee as a war artist for the North West Europe Commission of the Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John (JWO). Based in Brussels at the commission's headquarters she recorded the commission's post-war relief work in north west Europe including the rehabilitation and repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees. Zinkeisen traveled by lorry or by air throughout north-west Europe making sketches which she brought back to her studio in the commission's headquarters for further work.
By the time Zinkeisen had become a war artist her palette had already darkened from the colours of her society paintings. Her war paintings use muted greys, browns, and ochres like contemporaries such as Eric Ravilious and Stanley Spencer.
Despite her success as a painter and commercial artist she was best known as a theatrical designer. And Zinkeisen was a successful stage and costume designer for plays and films.
She started to work in stage design as soon as she completed her studies at the Royal Academy. Her first job was working for the actor-manager Nigel Playfair. Playfair wanted Zinkeisen to sing in the productions, but Zinkeisen insisted on remaining behind the scenes. One of the first plays she worked on was Clifford Bax and Playfair's 1923 adaptation of The Insect Play. Claude Rains who played three roles in the play described Zinkeisen as "a stunning women".
In 1922, while working with Nigel Playfair, Zinkeisen met James Whale. The two were considered a couple for some two years, despite Whale's living as an openly gay man. The couple was reportedly engaged in 1924 but by 1925 the engagement was off.
Zinkeisen married Edward Grahame Johnstone, a naval officer in 1927, and they had twin daughters in June 1928 Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone, who would become children's book illustrators, and a son Murray Johnstone who would become a fine horsewoman and won the Moscow Cup at the International Horse Show in 1934.
Zinkeisen became the chief stage and costume designer for Charles B. Cochran's popular London revues. Cochran described her work in an article published in The Studio magazine in 1927.
Miss Doris Zinkeisen seems to me to follow the best traditions of English theatrical decoration... She can now create costumes for all moods and times, and capture with equal facility the acid fervour of puritanism or the sweet lyricism of a faun... this young decorator, at her early age is, in my opinion, in the front rank of British designers.
— Charles B. Cochran, The Studio (1927)
In 1928, Zinkeisen designed the costumes for This Year of Grace by Noël Coward at the London Pavilion. In 1933, Zinkeison designed the decor and costumes for Cochran's production of Cole Porter's musical Nymph Errant at the Adelphi Theatre in London. The décolletage formed by the low cut design of one of the costumes resulted in a strike by the chorus against the perceived indecency of the costume. During the Second World War, she designed costumes and sets for the Old Vic Company productions of Arms and the Man and Richard III at the New Theatre.
Zinkeisen was a costume designer on a number of Herbert Wilcox films, including the film version of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet (1933), The Little Damozel, which included a nearly transparent dress. Wilcox's 1932 film The Blue Danube was based on a short story by Zinkeisen. British-born director James Whale specifically requested Zinkeisen to design the costumes for the only American film she ever worked on, the 1936 screen version of the musical Show Boat. It remains today the most popular and highly regarded film that Zinkeisen worked on.
In 1938 she wrote Designing for the Stage, a book regarded by Sue Harper, Professor of Film History, as an "influential innovation".
After the war, Zinkeisen continued to work in London as a theatrical designer and held occasional exhibitions of her paintings. She designed the cover of a special edition of Everybody's Magazine to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. In 1954, Zinkeisen designed the scenery and costumes for Noël Coward's musical, After the Ball, based on Oscar Wilde's play, Lady Windermere's Fan.
In 1955, Zinkeisen created Laurence Olivier's make-up for the film version of Richard III.
After the death of her husband Grahame Johnstone in 1946, Zinkeisen's twin girls Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone lived with their mother. Zinkeisen outlived her daughter Janet who died in an accident in 1979.
Doris Zinkeisen died on 3 January 1991, in Badingham, Suffolk, aged 92.