|Percy Bysshe Shelley|
He was one of the romantic poets, a philanderer, adulterer and a radical in both his political and social views. Shelley did not see fame during his lifetime, but recognition of his achievements in poetry grew steadily following his death. He was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron, John Keats, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, and his second wife was Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. And he stayed in Lynmouth.
|Top of Shelley's cottage (possibly)|
There is no actual confirmation as to where the Shelleys stayed in Lynmouth. What we do know is that he wrote: "The climate is so mild that myrtles of immense size twine up our cottage and roses bloom in the open air in winter." The favoured site was Blackmore's Lodgings (belonging to Mary, aunt of R D Blackmore of Lorna Doone fame), which later became Woodbine Villas. This building was eventually demolished and a new cottage near the site became known as Shelley's Cottage, which, as Shelley's Cottage Hotel, was rebuilt following damage in the 1952 flood disaster. Another theory is that they stayed in the top cottage on Mars Hill. Who knows. but either way, the Shelleys spent time here and enjoyed the beauty and tranquillity of the North Devon coastline. In the Rising Sun pub in Lynmouth on the wall in the corner, is one of his most famous poems A Bridal Song.
|A Bridal Song|
What a life. He certainly lived it to the full!
For more information on the poets who spent time here, check out this website. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/Whats-Special/culture/literary-links/percey-bysshe-shelley