England in 1819 By Percy Bysshe Shelley An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King; Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring; Rulers who neither see nor feel nor know, But leechlike to their fainting country cling Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) ‘England in 1819’ is a sonnet by the second-generation English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). It’s one of Shelley’s most angry and politically direct poems, although a number of the allusions Shelley makes to contemporary events require some analysis and interpretation to be ...
" England in 1819 " is a political sonnet by the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley which reflects his liberal ideals.  Background The poem was composed in 1819, but it was not published until 1839 in the four-volume The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: Edward Moxon) edited by Mary Shelley.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley's "England in 1819" is an expression of political anger and hope. First sent as an untitled addition to a private letter, the sonnet vents Shelley's outrage at the crises plaguing his home country during one of the most chaotic years of its history.
Events from the year 1819 in the United Kingdom . Incumbents Monarch – George III Regent – George, Prince Regent Prime Minister – Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool ( Tory) Foreign Secretary – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Home Secretary – Lord Sidmouth Parliament – 6th Events
1819 was a remarkable year for Percy Bysshe Shelley in many ways: it was the year of the Ode to the West Wind and of the so-called Peterloo Massacre (→ 4.3), a watershed in English political history. Shelley, exiled in Italy but following the news from England, summarised his nation’s ills in the following sonnet.