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Originating in the late 18th Century in Europe, Romanticism prized intuition and emotion over rationalism, valued nature and imagination and elevated the heroic individual. Shelley critiques Romantic ideals.

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French Revolution

The movement 1787-1799 that replaced the monarchy with the republic. The mob was frequently represented as a monster, a force out of control.

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In 1791 Luigi Galvani suggested that animal tissue contained a vital life force that elecrtricity could release.Inspired by this Shelley imagines the possible reanimation of a corpse.

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The Life Principle

By 1814, there was a rift between those scientists who saw life in purely material terms and those wanting to retain some metaphysical beliefs associated with the soul.

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Polar exploration

The search for the navigable sea across the North Pole was prompted by the desire to trade with the Orient and inspired Shelley's arctic framework.

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