200 years ago today, Shelley and his entourage find their Lake Lucerne digs not up to snuff and “flit” without paying the bill:
On Friday, 26 August , a mere three days after their arrival on the lake, they suddenly decided that they had had enough. Arguing through the afternoon, as the rain fell miserably on the waters below them, they decided first to go over the St Gothard, and finally, quite abruptly, to return to England and London. They could manage it, Shelley calculated, if they took the risk of travelling by the ‘water-diligence’ used mostly by local peasants, merchants and students, down the length of the Rhine to a Channel port. The next morning, the 27th, they flitted from Brunnen at dawn on the first boat available, having packed their bags and omitted to inform or pay their landlord, and gazed back on the receding shore ironically imagining ‘the astonishment of the good people of Brunnen’. ‘Most laughable to think’, as Jane put it, ‘of our going to England the second day after we entered a new house for six months — All because the stove don’t suit.’
—Richard Holmes, Shelley: The Pursuit
Our devoted blog follower, whose blog is The Red Shoes, sent in this cosy photo with a pun that we will spare you (unless you really want to know)*
Have you a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? By all means send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.
*She asks: “Does Shelley suffer a tea change?”