Percy Bysshe Shelley: Queen Mab

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Queen Mab

An edition (250 copies) of "Queen Mab" was printed at London in the summer of 1813 by Shelley himself, whose name, as author and printer, appears on the title-page (see "Bibliographical List"). Of this edition about seventy copies were privately distributed. Sections 1, 2, 8, and 9 were afterwards rehandled, and the intermediate sections here and there revised and altered; and of this new text sections 1 and 2 were published by Shelley in the "Alastor" volume of 1816, under the title, "The Daemon of the World". The remainder lay unpublished till 1876, when sections 8 and 9 were printed by Mr. H. Buxton Forman, C.B., from a printed copy of "Queen Mab" with Shelley's manuscript corrections. See "The Shelley Library", pages 36-44, for a description of this copy, which is in Mr. Forman's possession. Sources of the text are (1) the editio princeps of 1813; (2) text (with some omissions) in the "Poetical Works" of 1839, edited by Mrs. Shelley; (3) text (one line only wanting) in the 2nd edition of the "Poetical Works", 1839 (same editor).

"Queen Mab" was probably written during the year 1812-it is first heard of at Lynmouth, August 18, 1812 ("Shelley Memorials", page 39)-but the text may be assumed to include earlier material.

ECRASEZ L'INFAME!—Correspondance de Voltaire.
Avia Pieridum peragro loca, nullius ante
Trita solo; juvat integros accedere fonteis;
Atque haurire: juvatque novos decerpere flores.
Unde prius nulli velarint tempora musae.
Primum quod magnis doceo de rebus; et arctis
Religionum animos nodis exsolvere pergo.—Lucret. lib. 4.
Dos pon sto, kai kosmon kineso.—Archimedes.