The year after Keats’ death, Shelley died in a boating accident near Livorno, north of Rome. He was cremated on the beach there and his ashes were interred in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. He was just 29 years of age. Also buried nearby is Shelley’s son William, who died in Rome in 1819, aged three, from malaria or cholera or some similar infection.
The year before, William’s sister Clara had died while the Shelley family were living in Venice. Mary and Percy Shelley’s first child died in England. Only their fourth child, who was born in Florence in 1819 and named after his father, survived into adulthood.
After the death of her husband, Mary Shelley returned to England and continued to write, building on the success of her first novel, Frankenstein, which was published anonymously in 1818.