LIFE & LETTERS
by Phoebe Adams
by Richard Holmes. Dutton, $17.95.
Scholarly detection continues to turn up information about the poet once inaccurately labeled “a beautiful and ineffectual angel.” Mr. Holmes, a thorough scholar and a graceful writer, has made good use of new and old facts in this biography, emphasizing both the farsighted shrewdness of Shelley’s political theorizing and the presence, in his private character, of what the author calls “calculating duplicity.” Which means, that except where water was involved, Shelley had an overdeveloped capacity for self-preservation. References, index.