July 28, 1814 The Shelley’s Elope

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley eloped to France from Scotland leaving Percy’s pregnant wife behind. Percy had been lying to Mary’s father about his fortune and that Percy would gladly help the Godwin family with their debts. Percy had been partially disinherited because of his tendency to donate large sums of money and estate to charitable causes.

The couple traveled Europe with Mary’s sister until they were penniless and she was pregnant. When they attempted to return to the Godwin estate, Mary’s father turned her away. The couple eventually partially settled in Nelson Square, which Percy had to frequently leave to dodge creditors. The couple, inspired by Mary’s mother, believed in free love and Percy encouraged Mary to take additional lovers.

After the premature birth and death of their second child, the Shelley’s finances improved with Percy receiving his inheritance. In 1816, the couple went on to have a very eventful holiday with a certain Lord Byron.

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