Laon and Cythna (1817), Paperback / softback Book

Laon and Cythna (1817) Paperback / softback

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 / softback
  • Pages: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9781554811946



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