Item #244926 The Cenci. A Tragedy in Five Acts. Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The Cenci. A Tragedy in Five Acts.

London: C. and J. Ollier Vere Street Bond Street, 1821.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

Second edition, but the first to appear in England; the book was first printed in Livorno, Italy in 1819 in an edition of 250 copies. xvii, 103 pp. Printed by C.H. Reynall. 1 vols. 8vo. Bound in full blue morocco, spine gilt, t.e.g., others uncut, by the Rose Bindery, Boston. Fine copy. Small booklabel. Ashley Library V, p. 69; Wise: A Shelley Library, p.51.

Item #244926

One of Shelley’s most important works, prompted by learning the lurid story of Beatrice Cenci and Guido’s portrait of her. He began the play in May 1819 in Rome and finished it in September; he had stage production in mind from the start, and he asked Thomas Love Peacock to arrange for it to appear at Covent Garden. As a play by an atheist, however, and dealing with incest, it stood no chance with the censor. The Cenci was never performed in Shelley’s lifetime.