Anna Mercer

‘Your sincere admirer’: the Shelleys’ Letters as Indicators of Collaboration in 1821

‘Your sincere admirer’: the Shelleys’ Letters as Indicators of Collaboration in 1821

The Shelleys’ collaborative literary relationship never had a constant dynamic: as with the nature of any human relationship, it changed over time. In Dr. Anna Mercer’s research she aims to identify the shifts in the way in which the Shelleys worked together, a crucial standpoint being that collaboration involves challenge and disagreement as well as encouragement and support. Dr. Mercer suggests despite speculation about an increasing emotional distance between Mary and Percy, the shift in collaboration is not so black-and-white as to reduce the Shelleys’ relationship to one simply of alienation in the later years of their marriage.

‘Your sincere admirer’: the Shelleys’ Letters as Indicators of Collaboration in 1821

‘Your sincere admirer’: the Shelleys’ Letters as Indicators of Collaboration in 1821

The Shelleys’ collaborative literary relationship never had a constant dynamic: as with the nature of any human relationship, it changed over time. In Dr. Anna Mercer’s research she aims to identify the shifts in the way in which the Shelleys worked together, a crucial standpoint being that collaboration involves challenge and disagreement as well as encouragement and support. Dr. Mercer suggests despite speculation about an increasing emotional distance between Mary and Percy, the shift in collaboration is not so black-and-white as to reduce the Shelleys’ relationship to one simply of alienation in the later years of their marriage.

Frankenstein, a Stage Adaptation. Review by Anna Mercer

Frankenstein, a Stage Adaptation. Review by Anna Mercer

The last stage production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein I saw was a wonderful experience. The Royal Opera House’s ballet version of the novel was captivating and reflected the text’s themes of pursuit and terror with a striking intensity.[i] I’m always wary of adaptations of things I love, but after my positive experience at the ballet in London, I decided to go along to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when I was visiting New York. This new production by Ensemble for the Romantic Century was held in the Pershing Square Signature Center, a lovely venue. But the play itself was a disappointment overall, with only a few redeeming features.

Why the Shelley Conference? By Anna Mercer

Why the Shelley Conference? By Anna Mercer

The Shelley Conference takes place in London at Institute for English Studies on the 15th and 16th of September.  The keynote speakers are Prof. Nora Crook, Prof Kelvin Everest and Prof. Michael O’Neill. The conference is open to everyone - which is just how Shelley would have liked it.  He would have also liked the fact that he and his wife are treated as co-equals and creative collaborators.  I myself am honoured to be part of the conference and will be speaking on what I call "Romantic Resistance" - Shelley's strategies for opposing political and religious tyrannies.  They are surprisingly applicable to our times!  Here is co-organizer Anna Mercer on how this amazing conference came

In the Footsteps of Mary and Percy Shelley. By Anna Mercer

In the Footsteps of Mary and Percy Shelley. By Anna Mercer

One of the great things about studying Shelley is where it can take you if you are intrepid. In the course of his short life he traveled to Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Devon, France, Switzerland and Italy - and some of the places he visited are among the most sublime and picturesque in Europe.  Join Anna Mercer for a trip to Shelley's Mont Blanc!

Percy Bysshe Shelley and Revolutionary Ireland - by Sinéad Fitzgibbon

Percy Bysshe Shelley and Revolutionary Ireland - by Sinéad Fitzgibbon

On the evening of 12 February 1812, Shelley arrived in Ireland after a long and difficult crossing, accompanied by his young wife, Harriet, and her sister, Eliza.  Taking first-floor lodgings at 7 Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) in the centre of Dublin, Shelley turned his considerable energies to the task of finding a printer prepared to facilitate the publication of his recently-completed pamphlet, An Address to the Irish People. [You can find the text here] This was no small task considering the tract contained sentiments which could very well be viewed as seditious by the British authorities. Nonetheless, find a printer he did and by the end of his first week, Shelley had in his possession 1,500 copies of his address.

Teaching Percy Bysshe Shelley, by Anna Mercer

Teaching Percy Bysshe Shelley, by Anna Mercer

As an undergraduate at the University of Liverpool, I was given A Defence of Poetry to read for a seminar that – and this sounds hyperbolic, but is in reality no exaggeration – I now realise in retrospect changed my life.