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 Horsham Museum

Thank you for the music

With a grant from the Horsham Museum Society, Horsham Museum has just acquired a unique musical manuscript written in part by the child of two revolutionary parents, who were titans of the literary stage, and grandson of a famous 18th century feminist and world renowned anarchist. The manuscript album belonged to Jane Shelley, wife of Percy Florence Shelley who was the only son of Warnham born poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, authoress of Frankenstein who herself was the child of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.

The 1851 album consists of some 33 songs and music written in various hands including Percy Florence Shelley, Jane Shelley, his wife, and a poem written by their adopted daughter Bessie. Percy Florence Shelley was brought up by Mary Shelley after the death of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1822. He lived a conventional life becoming heir to the Shelley estates in 1846 ad at one time living at Field Place.

The album is a significant addition to the large collection of Shelley family related items already held by the museum.  It also fits into the museum's growing collection of music with a Horsham connection that includes the folk songs collected by Henry Burstow, the musical scores by Arnold Bax, and modern music commissioned for the unveiling of the Shelley Fountain in the town.

The manuscript will be on display in the Horsham Museum Library.


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