On the page facing the title John Taaffe has written the following note:
“This poem was given me by its lamented Author. The notes are my own, and were written by me one night at Florence: and I now copy them from the original which I have given to my beloved sister Fanny. J. Taaffe. Fano. May 1834.”
The margins of every page are filled with Taaffe’s notes, elaborating on the poem, explaining its allusions and sources. On the final blank, Taaffe has written an account of Shelley’s death concluding, “I can’t look upon this poem at present without a crowd of most sorrowful recollections”. The notes are written in ink and pencil; the ink has bled through, rendering reading the notes quite difficult in many places.
Our copy of the Pisa edition of Shelley’s “Adonais” was a gift from William Clary. William Clary graduated from Pomona College in 1911; was an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles; a trustee of Pomona, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer colleges; a founding trustee of Claremont College (now, separately, Claremont University Consortium and the Claremont Graduate University); and founding member of the Zamorano Club. His collection on the history of the University of Oxford and its colleges is one of the most distinguished of our Special Collections, along with his collections of Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Milton.