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The eating habits of poet Shelley revealed: from the archive, 7 April 1941

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Miscellany: In his 1858 biography, Thomas Jefferson Hogg claimed the poet had no time for food, abstaining from meat and alcohol and existing mainly on bread

The poet Shelley was not one who would have worried about short rations. He took no thought, says a biographer, of sublunary matters:

Dinner seems to have come less by forethought than by the operation of divine chance; and when there was no meat provided for the entertainment of casual guests the table was supplied with buns, procured by Shelley from the nearest pastry-cook. He had already abjured animal food and alcohol; and his favourite diet consisted of pulse or bread, which he ate dry with water, or made into panade.

Hogg relates how, when he was walking in the streets and felt hungry, he would dive into a bakers shop and emerge with a loaf tucked under his arm. This he consumed as he went along, very often reading at the same time. He could not comprehend how any man should want more than bread.

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