The Real Shelley : Vol. II
To guard against imputations of error, that may be unjustly preferred against this work on the authority of another man of letters, it is needful for me to call attention to certain inaccuracies of Mr. Kegan Paul's chief literary performance. In Chapter VII., Vol. II., of William Godwin; his Friends and Contemporaries, Mr. Kegan Paul remarks, 'The attraction which Godwin's society always possessed for young men has often been noticed, nor did it decrease as years passed on. Two young men were drawn to him in the year 1811, fired with zeal for intellectual pursuits, and desiring help from Godwin. They were different in their circumstances, but were both unhappy, and both died young. The first was a lad named Patrickson, the second Percy Bysshe Shelley.' In this characteristic sentence, Mr. Kegan Paul makes at least three blunders. As Patrickson was corresponding with William Godwin in December, 1810, the youth was drawn to the man of letters before 1811. As Shelley never saw William Godwin, never wrote him a line, before 1812 (though Mr. Denis Florence MacCarthy states otherwise, on the strength of a misread passage of one of the Oxonian Shelley's epistles), he certainly did not make Godwin's acquaintance in 1811.
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