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Laon and Cythna (1817)
Author: Percy Bysshe Shelley

ISBN: 9781554811946
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 16 April 2016
Country of Publication: CA
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.8

Percy Bysshe's Shelley's narrative poem Laon and Cythna is about a failed revolution-or is it?Laon and Cythna was quickly suppressed by Shelley's publisher, who feared he would be prosecuted for its revolutionary ideas and its depiction of incest between the two title characters, a brother and sister (it was later republished in its revised form as The Revolt of Islam). The siblings lead a rebellion against the Sultan of a city called Islam, which is liberated briefly before being recaptured by the Sultan's armies. Laon and Cythna are burnt at the stake, or seem to be: just before they die, they are spirited away to a mysterious island, where the poet who recounts their story meets and talks to them. The poem asks what it means for a political movement to succeed, or to fail, and presents Shelley's revolutionary ideas in a suspenseful narrative.

Historical appendices provide context for Shelley's political and philosophical works, the poem's feminist ideals, and the treatment of Asia and the Middle East in Romantic literature.

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