A continuing scholarly fascination with all things ‘Shelley’ is due in part to the unprecedented access we now have to PBS’s and MWS’s texts (in annotated scholarly editions) and manuscripts (presented in facsimile and transcript). The Shelleys’ works are more readily available than ever before. The lack of an annual or even frequent conference dedicated to PBS (comparable to those that exist for other Romantic writers) has prompted the decision to organise this event for 2017. The bicentenaries of the writing and publication of some of the Shelleys’ most famous works has brought discussion of PBS and MWS into mainstream culture. This conference seeks to celebrate the bicentenaries of the Shelleys’ creative activities in 1817, a year in which the Shelleys collaborated on their literary productions (most famously on Frankenstein). Perhaps now, 200 years later, we can really harness the usefulness of understanding the Shelleys as a literary couple to appreciate how intellectual collaborations – even with regards to such a typically solitary creative pursuit as literature – can produce such marvellous creative outcomes.
This conference will build on previous conferences at Gregynog in 1978, 1980, and 1992 and the Percy Shelley Bicentennial Conference in New York in 1992, which have provided a wonderful legacy for future Shelleyan academics. We include MWS in this new conference, as she also does not have her own regular academic event. However, the recent conference ‘Beyond Frankenstein’s Shadow’ (Nancy, France, 2016) focused specifically on MWS, and the emphasis placed on her work at the ‘Summer of 1816’ conference (Sheffield, 2016) indicated that her role on the main stage of Romanticism is increasingly appreciated. Moreover, both MWS and PBS are the subjects of a great deal of postgraduate work, particularly within the White Rose universities, and we hope this event will be the start of future of a White Rose Shelley network.
Harriett Neal, York
Other student organisers
Anna Mercer, University of York Carly Stevenson, University of Sheffield Carl McKeating, Leeds University