Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. A radical in his poetry and his political and social views, fame eluded him during his lifetime, but recognition grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron; Leigh Hunt; Thomas Love Peacock; and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
Shelley is perhaps best known for such classic poems as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud and The Masque of Anarchy. His other major works include long, visionary poems such as Queen Mab, Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, Adona´s, the unfinished work The Triumph of Life; and the visionary verse dramas The Cenci and Prometheus Unbound.
Shelley's early profession of atheism led to his expulsion from Oxford and branded him a radical agitator and thinker, setting an early pattern of marginalisation and ostracism from the intellectual and political circles of his time. His close circle of admirers, however, included some progressive thinkers of the day, including his future father-in-law, the philosopher William Godwin. Though Shelley's poetry and prose output remained steady throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish his work for fear of being arrested themselves for blasphemy or sedition. Shelley did not live to see success and influence, although these reach down to the present day not only in literature, but in major movements in social and political thought.