When touring an exhibit at the New York Public Library, “Shelley’s Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet” (contains occasional profanity), English professor Paula Marantz Cohen couldn't help but be reminded that Percy Shelley, the famous Romantic-era poet, was an odious scoundrel (as were his friends).
Shelley was an ardent atheist and despite being wealthy, prattled about the abolition of wealth and class. Shelley lived a lot of his life according to his worldview, except, of course, he didn't renounce his own wealth or status. Literally and figuratively, Shelley wrought bloody havoc in the lives of people around him, especially the teenage young women for whom he had predilection.
I wonder if people like Darwin, Marx, and Nietzsche imbibed Shelley's de-humanizing ideas. Cohen reflect that Shelley's work about John Keats's death illustrates his own "ignoble self."
If you haven't gotten to it yet, please listen to (or read) John Stonestreet's BreakPoint Radio commentary today, "The Real Humanism." He talks about how the Gospel is the only way toward "re-humanizing" culture.