source: nytimes.com (25 February, 2005)
Shelley Rescued From a Garage Sale
by Pam Kent, The New York Times 25 Feb. 2005
Letters by the poet Shelley, and his best friend, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, written to Ralph Wedgwood of the famous pottery family, have been discovered in a dusty trunk in South London by Crispin Jackson, head of books at Christie's South Kensington. In the letters, written while Shelley was a student at Oxford, he pretends to be a clergyman as he elaborates on his theories of atheism, which became a tenet of his career as a rebel poet. In one letter he wrote, "Christ never existed. ... The fall of man, the whole fabric indeed of superstition which it supports can no longer obtain the credit of Philosophers." Shelley and Hogg were subsequently expelled from Oxford after distributing a pamphlet titled "The Necessity of Atheism" to bishops and heads of colleges. Mr. Jackson said, "The owner, who was left the trunk of manuscripts by her next-door neighbors, had thought of selling them in a garage sale ...
Perhaps the above means very little to some, but it has made my day
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Among the stars that have a different birth, --
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
... ah, Shelley!