The publication of Shelley Memorials: from Authentic Sources was prompted by Lady Shelley’s dislike of Hogg’s biography of the poet. Carefully edited versions of selected Shelley letters and journals are arranged chronologically and presented as evidence. Lady Shelley maintained that only the poet’s family, as possessors of the family papers, could speak about Shelley’s life with impartial authority; his friends were too influenced by their personal feelings. Concerning the vexed question of Shelley’s treatment of Harriet she writes:
Of those remaining who were intimate with Shelley at this time, each has given us a different version of the sad event, colored by his own views and personal feelings. Evidently Shelley confided to none of these friends. We, who bear his name, and are of his family, have in our possession papers written by his own hand, which in after years may make the story of his life complete, and which few now living, except Shelley’s own children, have ever perused.