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‘Zastrozzi’ was written by the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 - 8 July 1822) in 1810, when he was still only seventeen. It is his first published prose work. Regarded today as one of the finest romantic poets of the English language, Shelley’s circle included Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt and Mary Shelley, his wife who also wrote the gothic masterpiece Frankenstein. The novel centers on the gothic villain Zastrozzi and his quest for violent revenge. The story outlines Shelley’s early developing worldview, which would define his radical politics, leading to his self-exile from Britain during the government repression in the years following the French Revolution. At the age of 29 Shelley drowned in the bay of Lerici in Italy.


Percy Shelley. Zastrozzi. A Romance. 1810

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