Thomas Love Peacock was always Shelley’s most sceptical, and even satirical, friend and admirer. The two men met through the bookseller Thomas Hookham in 1812, when Shelley was twenty and Peacock twenty-seven. A strong bond was forged when Peacock aided Shelley and Mary Godwin on their return from the Continent in 1814, helping them to elude bailiffs and survive financially at a time when other friends and relations, disapproving of their elopement, would not offer support. He and Shelley became particularly intimate in 1815, when Shelley and Mary moved to Bishopsgate, near where Peacock lived in Marlow. The first of Peacock’s prose satires, Headlong Hall, was composed at this time and seems in part to derive from his intellectual disputes with Shelley (see Butler, pp. 41–57). The friendship became even closer in 1817, when, after Harriet’s suicide and Shelley’s marriage to Mary, the couple moved to Marlow and established a literary circle with themselves and Peacock at its centre. Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey, published in 1818, which satirizes a protagonist, Scythrop, who much resembles Shelley, draws on the friendship that they enjoyed at this time. It was characteristic of Peacock to turn this into the material of (sometimes affectionate) satire, and to do so in such a way as to strengthen rather than corrode the relationship. (’I am delighted with Nightmare Abbey. I think Scythrop a character admirably conceived & executed’, wrote Shelley from Italy in June 1819: Jones, Letters, II, p. 98).