Laon and Cythna (1817) Paperback
Edited by Anahid Nersessian
Part of the Broadview Editions series
Percy Bysshe 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.
The two 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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 200 pages
- Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 30/04/2016
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9781554811946