Oxford

Percy Bysshe Shelley's lost poem acquired by Oxford University

Percy Bysshe Shelley Image copyright PA
Image caption Shelley wrote the poem during his first year Oxford University

A pamphlet containing a lost poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley has been purchased by the University of Oxford.

Shelley's Poetical Essay On The Existing State Of Things, will become the 12 millionth book to be added to the Bodleian Library's vast archive.

The 20-page pamphlet, which is the only copy known to survive, will also be available online.

Shelley wrote the work during 1810 and 1811, while studying for his first year at the university.

It addresses issues such as the abuse of the press, dysfunctional political institutions, and the global impact of war.

Printed by a stationers on Oxford High Street, it also contains a 10-page poem of 172 lines written under the alias of a "gentleman of the University of Oxford".

It was only attributed to him 50 years after his death and was later rediscovered in a private collection in 2006. It has been bought by the university for an undisclosed sum.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The pamphlet addresses issues such as the abuse of the press and the global impact of war

Bodley's librarian Richard Ovenden said: "The mission of a great library like the Bodleian is to preserve and manage its collections for the benefit of scholarship and to put knowledge into the hands of readers of all kinds."

Michael Rossington, professor of romantic literature at the University of Newcastle, called it a "tremendously exciting moment".

At an event announcing the acquisition actress Vanessa Redgrave described Shelley as "intoxicating".

She added: "His words transport you.

"I'm thrilled that, thanks to the Bodleian and its generous donors, this long-lost poem of Shelley's can be studied by students all over the world."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites