The most positive memories Shelley had of his two years at Syon House were undoubtedly of the imaginative and lively lectures of Adam Walker on science-electricity, astronomy, and chemistry-an interest which Shelley retained throughout his life.
The two young men immediately became fast friends, each stimulating the imagination and intellect of the other in their animated discussions of philosophy, literature, science, magic, religion, and politics.
In his biography of Shelley, Hogg recalled the time they spent in Shelley’s rooms, reading, discussing, arguing, and Shelley performing scientific experiments.
From the very beginning of his career as a published writer at the precocious age of seventeen, throughout his life, and even to the present day the very name of Shelley has evoked either the strongest vehemence or the warmest praise, bordering on worship.
More than any other English Romantic writer, with the possible exception of his friend George Gordon, Lord Byron, Shelley’s life and reputation have had a history and life of their own apart from the reputation of his various works.
Shelley’s six years at Eton College, which he entered at age twelve in 1804, are more notable for his early love interests and for his early literary endeavors than for what he learned in the formal curriculum.