From The Telegraph:
Visiting Rome on her honeymoon, an enthusiastic young academic whisked a fond husband off to view that little oasis of serenity, the Protestant Cemetery, in which lie the remains of two of England’s most celebrated poets.
What struck her then – as Daisy Hay reveals in the Preface to her immensely accomplished first book – were the claims of the two friends who lie buried, respectively, beside Keats and Shelley. Joseph Severn, the artist who accompanied Keats to Rome and nursed him through his final illness, was content to be recorded as the poet’s ‘‘devoted friend and death-bed companion’’. Edward Trelawny, the Cornish raconteur who travelled to Italy to meet Byron and fell, instead, under Shelley’s spell, made a bolder claim. ‘‘These are two friends whose lives were undivided,’’ proclaims his epitaph, conveniently failing to add that Trelawny’s unsevered bond with Shelley had lasted for only a bit less than a year (admittedly, the crucial one preceding, in the summer of 1822, Shelley’s death at sea).