Lord Byron - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Lord Byron, poet; nineteenth century British Literature / English Literature and poetry
Lord Byron   (1788 - 1824)
Category:  English Literature
Born:  January 22, 1788
London, England
Died:  April 19, 1824
Missolonghi, Greece
Related authors:
Edward Gibbon, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Robert Burns
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2/1/1814     Byron's Corsair
On this day in 1814 Lord Byron's "The Corsair" was published, selling out its entire first run of 10,000 copies. The poem was one of a handful of melodramatic verse-tales written by Byron between 1812-16, a period in which he was not only at the height of poetic fame in England but at the center of a swirl of attraction and repulsion.
2/27/1812     Byron's Maids
On this day in 1812 Lord Byron spoke for the first time in the House of Lords, choosing for his topic the recent Luddite rioting. Byron was twenty-four, recently returned from the obligatory Grand Tour of Europe, and ready for a career; had his speech been the success he hoped for, there is every chance that the career might have been in politics, rather than in poetry and persecution.
5/3/1810     Byron Swims the Hellespont
On this day in 1810 Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, in emulation of Leander's legendary swims to visit his beloved Hero. Byron was twenty-two, and not yet famous for his poetry or his profligacy -- though he had just finished a draft of Childe Harold, and just ended an affair with a married woman who, while no Hero, had moved Byron to challenge another to a sunrise duel.
6/19/1816     Frankenstein, Milton & the Computer
On this day in 1816 the Shelleys, Lord Byron and entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva to tell the ghost stories that would trigger Frankenstein. The byways of literature being what they are, this most legendary of storm-tossed evenings has connections backwards to John Milton and forward to the language of computer programming.
6/27/1878     Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall, Lausanne
The moment at which Edward Gibbon completed The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire -- just before midnight, June 27, 1787, in the small summer-house in his garden in Lausanne, Switzerland -- is described in detail in his memoirs The book had been almost 15 years in the making -- 6 volumes, 1.5 million words, 8000 footnotes -- and the author did not want to let "the hour of my final deliverance" go unmarked. . . .
7/5/1824     "Let not my body be hacked...."
On this day in 1824, Byron's body arrived in London, returned home for burial from Missolonghi, Greece. Though his last days were confused and feverish. Byron was clear on several points: "Let not my body be hacked, or be sent to England. . . . Lay me in the first corner without pomp or nonsense." Neither hacking, nor shipping, nor pomp and nonsense proved escapable.
11/2/1734     Boone, Byron & Coleridge
On this day in 1734 Daniel Boone was born. Boone was an inspiration for not just the romantic legends but the Romantic poets. Byron thought him "happiest amongst mortals anywhere," if not an Adam in Eden:
    ...Simple, serene, the antipodes of Shame,
    Which Hate nor Envy e'er could tinge with wrong;
    An active hermit, even in the age the child
    Of Nature--or the Man of Ross run wild....
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Lord Byron: The Major Works
by Jerome J. McGann (Editor), Lord Byron
anthology, poetry
The Love Poems of Lord Byron: A Romantic's Passion
anthology, poetry
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Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame
by Benita Eisler
The Life, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
by Thomas Moore
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Crede Byron
A collection of original essays on the cult of Byron, his animal menagerie, Newstead Abbey, the reverberations of his death in London, and other subjects. Also offers selected poems and links.

"Lame, self-conscious, and sensitive to criticism, Byron had not been a particularly sociable child. (His friend Elizabeth Pigot recorded that when the teenage Byron was at their house in Southwell and girls came visiting, he would jump out of the drawing room window rather than stay to be introduced to them). Although flattered by the public adulation, he never seemed wholly at ease in it. 'I only go out,' he wrote in his journal, 'to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.'"
Lord Byron: a comprehensive study of his life and work
Features a Byron biography, bibliography, chronology of life events, images, selected poetry, and both contemporary and historical analysis and commentary by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Gustave Flaubert, T. S. Eliot, and others.

Poems include "And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair," the "Don Juan" Cantos, "Prometheus," and "She Walks in Beauty."

Selected letters, journal entries, and quotations are also provided, along with biographical information about his lover, Lady Caroline Lamb, and Anne Isabella Milbanke, his wife.
Neurotic Poets - Lord Byron
This biographical essay explores Byron's inner demons and sensitivity to criticism, his relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the "depraved" and extreme lifestyle which would ultimately lead to his death.

"George Gordon Byron was born with a lame foot, and his sensitivity to it haunted his life and his works. Overhearing a girl he was infatuated with refer to him as 'that lame boy' certainly must have deepened his disappointment at being born with this deformity. A fragile self-esteem made Byron extremely sensitive to criticism, of himself or of his poetry, and he tended to make enemies rather quickly. His poetry, along with his lifestyle, was considered controversial in his time and often deemed 'perverted' or even 'satanic.' The fact that he was often discontent and unhappy, combined with a constant desire for change meant that he created an unstable world for himself, though he never gave up his individual freedom to choose his own path and his own destiny."
The Byron Complex - The Atlantic Monthly
Multiple perspectives on Byron's life and the dramatic breakup of his marriage to Annabella Milbanke, by Jacques Barzun, Paul Elmer More, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others.

"By Milbanke's account, Byron was a vicious, alcoholic madman who tried in every way possible to break his wife's spirit, to destroy her Christian faith, to pressure her to condone his sexual infidelity, and, when he found her to be incorruptible, to drive her away from him."
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February 21, 2018
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