WMR reviews Trelawney's "Records of Shelley & Byron"
|Topic||WMR reviews Trelawney's "Records of Shelley & Byron"|
|Notes||Byron relics mentioned, compares Hogg/Mrs. Shelley/Trelawney|
78 June 15 Academy
Edward John Trelawny's "Records of Shelley and the Author."
Rossetti, William M. "Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author." Academy (June 15, 1878): 319. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.
Rossetti terms the work "anecdotal biography" and says that in this category, there is no equal to this book. He positions the accounts relative to those of Shelley official biographer Hogg ("semi-grotesque delineations") and those of Shelley's widow ("highly important and interesting"). The difference, Rossetti says, is that Edward John Trelawny's Shelley "lives before us."
The book is focused on Shelley mainly and Byron only "to a minor degree." There are letters to and from Shelley included in Trelawny's volume, as well as first-person accounts given to Trelawny by Shelley, his associates, as well as by Lord Byron. Trelawny is sympathetic, Rossetti relates, to Mary Goodwin and to Harriet, as Shelley's entanglements played out.
Rossetti had a close personal relationship with Edward John Trelawny, claiming a special position of trust based on their mutual admiration for Shelley and Rossetti claims that toward the end of Trelawny's life, there was no visitor to whom Trelawny looked forward more than that of William Rossetti (Reminiscences 2:372-375).
Rossetti says there are credible accounts of Byron relics in Edward John Trelawny's account, plus many illustrations that Rossetti finds creditable. He discusses matters of errata but largely, finds Trelawny's account to be informative, accurate and a compelling read.
Standards of Judgment:
Rhetoric and tone:
Rossetti, William Michael. Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner, 1906. Print.