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From the Ariel

Nothing escapes the erosion of time, he said.

Percy Shelley was born into privilege and gave it up to live the life of a wild poet…unbound. He was a free spirit, rebellious and idealistic. A bad boy with a good heart. He was captivated by young Mary Shelley and they ran away together. Fell from grace, their personal lives becoming shrouded in scandal, genteel poverty and tragedy. Still... he managed to write some of the most beautiful poetry in English literature. And Mary...she wrote Frankenstein.

(Nothing escapes the erosion of time, he whispered)

Percy and Mary moved to a white house in the bay at Lerici, on the west coast of Italy. He loved it there. It was quiet and he could write. He renamed his beloved boat Ariel. The couple spent long days and evenings out in the beautiful bay. There is a little sketch of Mary writing in the boat, a large parasol propped up. They tried to put their past behind them….forget how difficult things had been…and slowly they were succeeding. But in the late summer, everything changed.

On a routine trip to Pisa, Percy and two friends drowned while sailing home in a stormy sea. Some said he left it too late…that he had been reckless. There were stories of local pirates. Mary was devastated. He washed up not far from the his pocket was a new book of poetry by creased back as he had hurriedly put it away. His friends gathered to burn his body in a funeral pyre on the beach. In a romantic gesture, his heart was pulled from the raging fire and later given to Mary. She wrapped it in a silk handkerchief…. collected the few battered and torn relics washed up after the wreck of the Ariel….and placed them all in a shrine. She tended this shrine and his memory until she died.

The passage of time and nature works its own magic on materials, giving them the haunting beauty of decay and captured memory. The worn, sea tossed relics in Percy's final collection have acquired mysterious meaning now. There is one more relic to add …from the Ariel.

Salt and pepper shakers, Victorian Marcasite (iron pyrite) button, Vintage steel chains, found crystal beads


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