Queen of the Field Place Hive
The chapter attempts to uncover Percy Bysshe Shelley’s relationship with his mother, Elizabeth Shelley, in his infancy and youth. However, the limited material available requires the use of interpretive skills. The accounting begins with Lady Shelley’s life prior to marriage with Sir Timothy Shelley and residence at Field Place. From letters and third party accounts, Elizabeth Shelley’s maternal behavior and qualities during Percy’s birth and adolescence are theorized and discussed. The possible influence of these behaviors over Shelley’s childhood, his burgeoning talent, and his eventual outlook in life are also tackled. The extent of Lady Shelley’s maternal influence on Shelley’s adult life is also analyzed. Linkages between Shelley’s prevalent use of feminine and “goddess” ideas in his literary pieces and his mother’s undeniable influence on his psyche are explored. The remaining section analyzes the mother–son alliance in their complex relationship, in contrast to the typical maternal conflicts described in previous segments.
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