458px-George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron by Richard Westall (2)

George Gordon Byron (1788-1824). Portrait by Richard Westall (1765-1836). Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Right Honourable
The Lord Byron
Born George Gordon Byron
January 22 1788(1788-Template:MONTHNUMBER-22)
Dover, Kent, England
Died April 19 1824(1824-Template:MONTHNUMBER-19) (aged 36)
Messolonghi, Aetolia-Acarnania, Greece
Occupation Poet, Peer
Citizenship United Kingdom British subject
Literary movement Romanticism
Notable work(s) Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
Children Ada Lovelace, Allegra Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron) FRS (22 January 1788 - 19 April 1824), commonly known as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure of Romantic poetry. His best-known works include the short poems "She walks in beauty", "When We Two Parted," and "So, we'll go no more a-roving," and the long narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He remains widely read and influential.



Bryon was born in London, the son of Captain John Byron and of Catherine Gordon, heiress of Gight, Aberdeenshire, his 2nd wife, whom he married for her money and, after squandering it, deserted. He was also the grand-nephew of the 5th, known as the "wicked" Lord Byron. From his birth he suffered from a malformation of the feet, causing a slight lameness, which was a cause of lifelong misery to him, aggravated by the knowledge that with proper care it might have been cured. After the departure of his father his mother went to Aberdeen, where she lived on a small salvage from her fortune. She was a capricious woman of violent temper, with no fitness for guiding her volcanic son, and altogether the circumstances of his early life explain, if they do not excuse, the spirit of revolt which was his lifelong characteristic. In 1794, on the death of a cousin, he became heir-presumptive to the title and embarrassed estates of the family, to which, on the death of his great-uncle in 1798, he succeeded. In 1801 he was sent to Harrow, where he remained until 1805, when he proceeded to Cambridge, where he read much history and fiction, lived extravagantly, and got into debt. Some early verses which he had published in 1806 were suppressed. They were followed in 1807 by Hours of Idleness, which was savagely attacked in the Edinburgh Review. In reply he sent forth English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1800), which created considerable stir and shortly went through 5 editions. Meanwhile, he had settled at Newstead Abbey, the family seat, where with some of his cronies he was believed to have indulged in wild and extravagant orgies, the accounts of which, however, were probably greatly exaggerated. In 1809 he left England, and passing through Spain, went to Greece. During his absence, which extended over 2 years, he wrote the first 2 cantos of Childe Harold, which were published after his return in 1812, and were received with acclamation. In his own words, "he awoke one morning and found himself famous." He followed up his success with some short poems, "The Corsair," "Lara," etc. About the same time began his intimacy with his future biographer, Thomas Moore, and about 1815 he married Anne Isabella Milbanke, who had refused him in the previous year, a union which proved unhappy, and was in 1816 dissolved by a formal deed of separation. The only fruit of it was a daughtr, Augusta Ada. After this break-up of his domestic life, followed as it was by the severe censure of society, and by pressure on the part of his creditors, which led to the sale of his library, Byron again left England, as it turned out, for ever, and, passing through Belgium and up the Rhine, went to Geneva, afterwards travelling with Shelley through Switzerland, when he wrote the 3rd canto of Childe Harold. He wintered in Venice. In 1817 he was in Rome, whence returning to Venice he wrote the 4th canto of Childe Harold. In the same year he sold his ancestral seat of Newstead, and about the same time published "Manfred," "Cain," and "The Deformed Transformed." The first 5 cantos of Don Juan were written between 1818 and 1820, during which period he made the acquaintance of the Countess Guiccioli, whom he persuaded to leave her husband. It was about this time that he received a visit from Moore, to whom he confided his MS. autobiography, which Moore, in the exercise of the discretion left to him, burned in 1824. His next move was to Ravenna, where he wrote much, chiefly dramas, including Marino Faliero. In 1821-22 he finished Don Juan at Pisa, and in the same year he joined with Leigh Hunt in starting a short-lived newspaper, The Liberal, in the first number of which appeared The Vision of Judgment. His last Italian home was Genoa, where he was still accompanied by the Countess, and where he lived until 1823, when he offered himself as an ally to the Greek insurgents. In July of that year he started for Greece, spent some months in Cephalonia waiting for the Greeks to form some definite plans. In January, 1824, he landed at Missolonghi, but caught a malarial fever, of which he died on April 19, 1824.[1]

Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know".[2] He travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero.[3]

The final position of Byron in English literature is probably not yet settled. It is at present undoubtedly lower than it was in his own generation. Yet his energy, passion, and power of vivid and richly-coloured description, together with the interest attaching to his wayward and unhappy career, must always make him loom large in the assembly of English writers. He exercised a marked influence on Continental literature, and his reputation as poet is higher in some foreign countries than in his own.[1]


Main article: Lord Byron's youth
497px-John Byron-Joshua Reynolds-1759

Byron's father, Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron

Byron was the son of Captain John 'Mad Jack' Byron and his third wife, the former Catherine Gordon (d. 1811), heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Catherine was the daughter of George Gordon of Gight and a descendant of Cardinal Beaton[4]. Byron's paternal grandparents were Vice-Admiral The Hon. John 'Foulweather Jack' Byron and Sophia Trevanion.[5] Vice Admiral John Byron had circumnavigated the globe, and was the younger brother of the 5th Baron Byron, known as "the Wicked Lord". He was christened George Gordon Byron at St Marylebone Parish Church after his maternal grandfather, George Gordon of Gight, a descendant of King James I of Scotla. His grandfather committed suicide[6] in 1779. Byron's mother Catherine had to sell her land and title to pay her husband's debts. John Byron may have married Catherine for her money[6] and, after squandering her fortune and selling her estate, having spent very little time with his wife and child in order to avoid creditors, he deserted them both and died a year later.[7] Catherine regularly experienced mood swings and bouts of melancholy.[6]


Catherine Gordon, Byron's mother

Catherine moved back to Scotland shortly afterwards, where she raised her son in Aberdeenshire.[6] On 21 May 1798, the death of Byron's great-uncle, the "wicked" Lord Byron, made the 10-year-old the 6th Baron Byron, and the young man then inherited both title and estate, Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire, England. His mother proudly took him to England. Byron lived at his estate infrequently, as the Abbey was rented to Lord Grey de Ruthyn, among others, during Byron's adolescence. In August 1799, Byron entered the school of William Glennie, an Aberdonian in Dulwich.[8] Byron would later say that around this time and beginning when he still lived in Scotland, his governess, May Gray, would come to bed with him at night and "play tricks with his person".[9] According to Byron, this "caused the anticipated melancholy of my thoughts—having anticipated life".[10] Gray was dismissed for allegedly beating Byron when he was 11.[10] Byron received his early formal education at Aberdeen Grammar School. In 1801 he was sent to Harrow, where he remained until July 1805.[6] He represented Harrow during the very first Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord's in 1805.[11] After school he went on to Trinity College, Cambridge.[12]


Byron's names changed throughout his life. He was christened "George Gordon Byron" in London. "Gordon" was a baptismal name, not a surname, after his maternal grandfather. In order to claim his wife's estate in Scotland, Byron's father took the additional surname "Gordon", becoming "John Byron Gordon", and he was occasionally styled "John Byron Gordon of Gight". Byron himself used this surname for a time and was registered at school in Aberdeen as "George Byron Gordon". At the age of 10, he inherited the English Barony of Byron, becoming "Lord Byron", and eventually dropped the double surname (though after this point his surname was hidden by his peerage in any event). When Byron's mother-in-law, Judith Noel died in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" in order to inherit half her estate, and so he obtained a Royal Warrant allowing him to "take and use the surname of Noel only". The Royal Warrant also allowed him to "subscribe the said surname of Noel before all titles of honour", and from that point he signed himself "Noel Byron" (the usual signature of a peer being merely the peerage, in this case simply "Byron"). This was, it was said, so that his signature would become "N.B." which were the initials of one of his heroes, Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also sometimes referred to as "Lord Noel Byron", as if "Noel" were part of his title, and likewise his wife was sometimes called "Lady Noel Byron". Lady Byron eventually succeeded to the Barony of Wentworth, becoming "Lady Wentworth"; her surname before marriage had been "Milbanke".

Early careerEdit

While not at school or college, Byron lived with his mother at Burgage Manor in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, in some antagonism.[6] While there, he cultivated friendships with Elizabeth Pigot and her brother, John, with whom he staged two plays for the entertainment of the community.


During this time, with the help of Elizabeth Pigot, who copied many of his rough drafts, he was encouraged to write his earliest volumes of poetry. Fugitive Pieces, printed by Ridge of Newark, contained poems written when Byron was only 14. However, it was promptly recalled and burned on the advice of his friend, Rev. Thomas Beecher, on account of its more amorous verses, particularly the poem To Mary.[13]

Hours of Idleness, which collected many of the previous poems, along with more recent compositions, was the culminating book. The savage, anonymous criticism this received (now known to be the work of Henry Peter Brougham) in the Edinburgh Review prompted his first major satire,[10] English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809). It was put into the hands of his relation R.C. Dallas requesting him to "...get it published without his name"[14] Dallas gives a large series of changes and alterations, as well as the reasoning for some of them. He also states that Byron had originally intended to prefix an argument to this poem, and Dallas quotes it.[15] Although the work was published anonymously, by April, Dallas is writing that "you are already pretty generally known to be the author."[16] The work so upset some of his critics they challenged Byron to a duel; over time, in subsequent editions, it became a mark of prestige to be the target of Byron's pen.[10]

After his return from his travels, he again entrusted Dallas as his literary agent to publish his poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, which Byron thought of little account. The first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage were published in 1812, and were received with acclaim.[17][18] In his own words, "I awoke one morning and found myself famous".[19] He followed up his success with the poem's last two cantos, as well as four equally celebrated Oriental Tales, The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and Lara, A Tale. About the same time, he began his intimacy with his future biographer, Thomas Moore.

Private lifeEdit

Early love lifeEdit


Byron's earliest loves included Mary Duff and Margaret Parker, his distant cousins,[10] and Mary Chaworth, whom he met while at Harrow.[6] Byron later wrote that his passion for Duff began when he was "not [yet] eight years old," and was still remembered in 1813.[10] Byron refused to return to Harrow in September 1803 because of his love for Chaworth; his mother wrote: "He has no indisposition that I know of but love, desperate love, the worst of all maladies in my opinion. In short, the boy is distractedly in love with Miss Chaworth."[6] In Byron's later memoirs, "Mary Chaworth is portrayed as the first object of his adult sexual feelings."[20]

Byron returned to Harrow in January 1804,[6] to a more settled period which saw the formation of a circle of emotional involvements with other Harrow boys, which he recalled with great vividness: 'My School friendships were with me passions (for I was always violent).'[21] The most enduring of those was with the John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare — 4 years Byron's junior — whom he was to meet unexpectedly many years later in Italy (1821).[22] His nostalgic poems about his Harrow friendships, Childish Recollections (1806), express a prescient "consciousness of sexual differences that may in the end make England untenable to him".[23]

"Ah! Sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home."

While at Trinity, Byron met and formed a close friendship with the younger John Edleston. About his "protégé" he wrote, "He has been my almost constant associate since October, 1805, when I entered Trinity College. His voice first attracted my attention, his countenance fixed it, and his manners attached me to him for ever." In his memory Byron composed Thyrza, a series of elegies.[24] In later years he described the affair as 'a violent, though pure love and passion'. This however has to be read in the context of hardening public attitudes to homosexuality in England, and the severe sanctions (including public hanging) against convicted or even suspected offenders.[25] The liaison, on the other hand, may well have been 'pure' out of respect for Edleston's innocence, in contrast to the (probably) more sexually overt relations experienced at Harrow School.[26] Also while at Cambridge he formed lifelong friendships with men such as John Cam Hobhouse and Francis Hodgson, a Fellow at King's College, with whom he corresponded on literary and other matters until the end of his life.

Another biographer, Fiona MacCarthy, has posited that Byron's true sexual yearnings were for adolescent males.[18]

Byron's Grand TourEdit

The Scandalous Adventures Of Lord Byron (Romanticism Documentary) Timeline

The Scandalous Adventures Of Lord Byron (Romanticism Documentary) Timeline

Byron racked up numerous debts as a young man, due to what his mother termed a "reckless disregard for money".[6] She lived at Newstead during this time, in fear of her son's creditors.[6]

He had planned to spend early 1808 cruising with his cousin George Bettesworth, who was captain of the 32-gun frigate HMS Tartar. Bettesworth's unfortunate death at the Battle of Alvøen in May 1808 made that impossible.

From 1809 to 1811, Byron went on the Grand Tour, then customary for a young nobleman. The Napoleonic Wars forced him to avoid most of Europe, and he instead turned to the Mediterranean. Correspondence among his circle of Cambridge friends also suggests that a key motive was the hope of homosexual experience,[27] and other theories saying that he was worried about a possible dalliance with the married Mary Chaworth, his former love (the subject of his poem from this time, "To a Lady: On Being Asked My Reason for Quitting England in the Spring").[10] Attraction to the Levant was probably a motive in itself; he had read about the Ottoman and Persian lands as a child, was attracted to Islam (especially Sufi mysticism), and later wrote, “With these countries, and events connected with them, all my really poetical feelings begin and end."[28] He travelled from England over Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean to Albania and spent time at the court of Ali Pasha of Ioannina,[29] and in Athens. For most of the trip, he had a travelling companion in his friend John Cam Hobhouse. Many of these letters are referred to with details in Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron.[30]

Byron began his trip in Portugal from where he wrote a letter to his friend Mr. Hodgson in which he describes his mastery of the Portuguese language, consisting mainly of swearing and insults. Byron particularly enjoyed his stay in Sintra that is described in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage as "glorious Eden". From Lisbon he travelled overland to Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Gibraltar and from there by sea on to Malta and Greece.[31]

While in Athens, Byron met Nicolò Giraud, who became quite close and taught him Italian. It was also presumed that the couple had an intimate relationship possibly involving a sexual affair.[32] Byron sent Giraud to school at a monastery in Malta and bequeathed him a sizeable sum of 7,000 pounds sterling. The will, however, was later cancelled.[33] In 1810 in Athens Byron wrote Maid of Athens, ere we part for a 12-year-old girl, Teresa Makri [1798-1875], and reportedly offered £ 500 for her. The offer was not accepted.(Citation needed)

Byron made his way to Smyrna where he and Hobhouse cadged a ride to Constantinople on HMS Salsette. While Salsette was anchored awaiting Ottoman permission to dock at the city, on 3 May 1810 Byron and Lieutenant Ekenhead, of SalsetteTemplate:'s marines, swam the Hellespont. Byron commemorated this feat in the 2nd canto of Don Juan.

Affairs and scandalsEdit

In 1812, Byron embarked on a well-publicized affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb that shocked the British public.[34] Byron eventually broke off the relationship and moved swiftly on to others (such as that with Lady Oxford), but Lamb never entirely recovered, pursuing him even after he tired of her. She was emotionally disturbed, and lost so much weight that Byron cruelly commented to her mother-in-law, his friend Lady Melbourne, that he was "haunted by a skeleton".[35] She began to call on him at home, sometimes dressed in disguise as a page boy,[34] at a time when such an act could ruin both of them socially. One day, during such a visit, she wrote on a book at his desk, "Remember me!" As a retort, Byron wrote a poem entitled Remember Thee! Remember Thee! which concludes with the line "Thou false to him, thou fiend to me".

As a child, Byron had seen little of his half-sister Augusta Leigh; in adulthood, he formed a close relationship with her that has been interpreted by some as incestuous,[35] and by others as innocent.[10] Augusta (who was married) gave birth on 15 April 1814 to her 3rd daughter, Elizabeth Medora Leigh.

Eventually Byron began to court Lady Caroline's cousin Anne Isabella Milbanke ("Annabella"), who refused his first proposal of marriage but later accepted him. Milbanke was a highly moral woman, intelligent and mathematically gifted; she was also an heiress. They married at Seaham Hall, County Durham, on 2 January 1815. The marriage proved unhappy. He treated her poorly. They had a daughter (Augusta Ada). On 16 January 1816, Lady Byron left him, taking Ada with her. On 21 April, Byron signed the Deed of Separation. Rumours of marital violence, adultery with actresses, incest with Augusta Leigh, and sodomy were circulated, assisted by a jealous Lady Caroline.[35] In a letter, Augusta quoted him as saying: "Even to have such a thing said is utter destruction and ruin to a man from which he can never recover."


Lord Byron obtained a reputation as being extravagant, melancholic, courageous,[6] unconventional, eccentric, flamboyant[18] and controversial.[24] He was independent and given to extremes of temper; on at least one trip, his travelling companions were so puzzled by his mood swings they thought he was mentally ill.[6][24] He enjoyed adventure, especially relating to the sea.[6]

He believed his depression was inherited, and he wrote in 1821, "I am not sure that long life is desirable for one of my temper & constitutional depression of Spirits."[24]

Byron was noted even during his time for the extreme loyalty he inspired in his friends.[24] Hobhouse said, "No man lived who had such devoted friends."[24]

The earliest recorded notable example of open water swimming took place on May 3, 1810 when Lord Byron swam from Europe To Asia across the Hellespont Strait.[36] This is often seen as the birth of the sport and pastime and to commemorate it, the event is recreated every year as an open water swimming event.[37]

Physical descriptionEdit

Byron's adult height was 5 feet 8.5 inches (1.74 m), his weight fluctuating between 9.5 stone (133 lb; 60 kg) and 14 stone (200 lb; 89 kg). He was renowned for his personal beauty, which he enhanced by wearing curl-papers in his hair at night.[38] He was athletic, being a competent boxer and horse-rider and an excellent swimmer. At Harrow, he played cricket, although he was unskillful.

From birth, Byron suffered from an unknown deformity of his right foot (generally referred to as a "clubfoot" at the time, though some modern medical experts maintain that it was a consequence of infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis), and others that it was a dysplasia, a failure of the region to form properly),[39] causing a limp that resulted in lifelong misery for him, aggravated by painful and pointless "medical treatment" in his childhood and the suspicion that with proper care it might have been cured.[9] He was extremely self-conscious about this from a young age, nicknaming himself le diable boiteux[40] (French for "the limping devil", after the nickname given to Asmodeus by Alain-René Lesage in his 1707 novel of the same name). However, he refused to wear any type of mechanical device that could improve the limp,[6] although he often wore specially made shoes that would hide the deformed foot.[18]

Byron and other writers such as his friend John Cam Hobhouse left detailed descriptions of his eating habits. At the time he entered Cambridge, he went on a strict diet to control his weight. He also exercised a great deal, and at that time wore a great number of clothes to cause himself to perspire. For most of his life he was a vegetarian, and often lived for days on dry biscuits and white wine. Occasionally he would eat large helpings of meat and desserts, after which he would purge himself. His friend Hobhouse claimed that his weight problem was caused by the pain of his deformed foot which made it difficult for him to exercise.[38]


Byron is considered to be the earliest modern-style celebrity. His image as the personification of the Byronic hero fascinated the public,[18] and his wife Annabella coined the term "Byromania" to refer to the commotion surrounding him.[18] His self-awareness and personal promotion are seen as a beginning to what would become the modern rock star; he would instruct artists painting portraits of him not to paint him with pen or book in hand, but as a "man of action."[18] While Byron first welcomed fame, he later turned from it by going into voluntary exile from Britain.[24]

Fondness for animalsEdit

Byron had a great fondness for animals, most notably for a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain; when Boatswain contracted rabies, Byron reportedly nursed him without any fear of becoming bitten and infected.(Citation needed) Boatswain lies buried at Newstead Abbey, and has a monument larger than Byron's own. Byron at one point expressed interest in being buried next to Boatswain.[41] The inscription, Byron's Epitaph to a Dog, has become one of his best-known works, reading in part:[42]

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803,
and died at Newstead Nov.r 18th, 1808.

At other times in his life, Byron kept a fox, monkeys, a parrot, cats, an eagle, a crow, a crocodile, a falcon, peacocks, guinea hens, an Egyptian crane, a badger, geese, and a heron.

Later yearsEdit

After this break-up of his domestic life, Byron again left England, and, as it turned out, it was forever. He passed through Belgium and continued up the Rhine River. In the summer of 1816 he settled at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva, Switzerland, with his personal physician, the young, brilliant, and handsome John William Polidori. There Byron befriended poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Shelley's future wife, Mary Godwin. He was also joined by Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, with whom he had had an affair in London.

File:Lord Byron - Childe Harold's Pilgimage - Dugdale edition.jpg

Kept indoors at the Villa Diodati by the "incessant rain" of "that wet, ungenial summer" over three days in June, the 5 turned to reading fantastical stories, including Fantasmagoriana, and then devising their own tales. Mary Shelley produced what would become Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, and Polidori was inspired by a fragmentary story of Byron's, "Fragment of a Novel", to produce The Vampyre, the progenitor of the romantic vampire genre.[43] Byron's story fragment was published as a postscript to Mazeppa; he also wrote the 3rd canto of Childe Harold. Byron wintered in Venice, pausing his travels when he fell in love with Marianna Segati, in whose Venice house he was lodging, and who was soon replaced by 22-year-old Margarita Cogni; both women were married.[41] Cogni could not read or write, and she left her husband to move into Byron's Venice house.[41] Their fighting often caused Byron to spend the night in his gondola; when he asked her to leave the house, she threw herself into the Venetian canal.[41]

In 1817, he journeyed to Rome. On returning to Venice, he wrote the 4th canto of Childe Harold. About the same time, he sold Newstead and published Manfred, Cain and The Deformed Transformed. The first 5 cantos of Don Juan were written between 1818 and 1820, during which period he made the acquaintance of the young Countess Guiccioli, who found her first love in Byron, who in turn asked her to elope with him.[41] It was about this time that he received a visit from Thomas Moore, to whom he confided his autobiography or "life and adventures", which Moore, Hobhouse, and Byron's publisher, John Murray,[41] burned in 1824, a month after Byron's death.[18]


Byron had a child, The Augusta Ada Byron ("Ada", later Countess of Lovelace), in 1815 with Annabella Byron, Lady Byron (née Anne Isabella Milbanke, or "Annabella"), later Lady Wentworth. Ada Lovelace, notable in her own right, collaborated with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine, a predecessor to modern computers. She is recognized[44] as the world's first programmer.

He also had an illegitimate child in 1817, Clara Allegra Byron, with Claire Clairmont, stepsister of Mary Shelley and stepdaughter of Political Justice and Caleb Williams author William Godwin. Born in Bath in 1817, Allegra lived with Byron for a few months in Venice; he refused to allow an Englishwoman caring for the girl to adopt her, and objected to her being raised in the Shelleys' household.[41] He wished for her to be brought up Catholic and not marry an Englishman.[41] He made arrangements for her to inherit 5,000 lira upon marriage, or when she reached the age of 21, provided she did not marry a native of Britain.[41] However, the girl died aged 5 of a fever in Bagna Cavallo, Italy while Byron was in Pisa; he was deeply upset by the news.[41] He had Allegra's body sent back to England to be buried at his old school, Harrow, because Protestants could not be buried in consecrated ground in Catholic countries.[41] He himself had wanted once to be buried at Harrow. Byron was indifferent towards Allegra's mother, Claire Clairmont.[41]

Although it cannot be proved, someTemplate:Who attest that Augusta Leigh's child, Elizabeth Medora Leigh, was fathered by Byron.

It is thoughtTemplate:By whom that Lord Byron had a son by a maid he employed at Newstead named Lucy. A letter of his to John Hanson from Newstead Abbey, dated January 17, 1809, refers to the situation: "You will discharge my Cook, & Laundry Maid, the other two I shall retain to take care of the house, more especially as the youngest is pregnant (I need not tell you by whom) and I cannot have the girl on the parish." The letter may be found in many editions of Byron's letters, such as Marchand's 1982 Byron's Letters and Journals. The poem "To My Son" may be about this child; however, the dating gives difficulties; some editorsTemplate:Specify attribute the poem to a date two years earlier than the letter.

Political careerEdit

Byron first took his seat in the House of Lords 13 Mar 1809,[45] but left London on 11 Jun 1809 for the Continent.[46] A strong advocate of social reform, he received particular praise as one of the few Parliamentary defenders of the Luddites: specifically, he was against a death penalty for Luddite "frame breakers" in Nottinghamshire, who destroyed textile machines that were putting them out of work. His first speech before the Lords was loaded with sarcastic references to the "benefits" of automation, which he saw as producing inferior material as well as putting people out of work. He said later that he "spoke very violent sentences with a sort of modest impudence", and thought he came across as "a bit theatrical".[47] The full text of the speech, which he had previously written out, were presented to Dallas in manuscript form and he quotes it in his work.[48] In another Parliamentary speech he expressed opposition to the established religion because it was unfair to people of other faiths.[49] These experiences inspired Byron to write political poems such as Song for the Luddites (1816) and The Landlords' Interest, Canto XIV of The Age of Bronze.[50] Examples of poems in which he attacked his political opponents include Wellington: The Best of the Cut-Throats (1819); and The Intellectual Eunuch Castlereagh (1818).(Citation needed)

Life abroadEdit

Ultimately, Byron resolved to escape the censure of British society (due to allegations of sodomy and incest) by living abroad,[18] thereby freeing himself of the need to conceal his sexual interests (MacCarthy pp. 86, 314).[20] Byron left England in 1816 and did not return for the last eight years of his life, even to bury his daughter.[18][41]

The Armenians in VeniceEdit

In 1816, Byron visited Saint Lazarus Island in Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture with the help of the abbots belonging to the Mechitarist Order. With the help of Father H. Avgerian, he learned the Armenian language,[41] and attended many seminars about language and history. He wrote English Grammar and Armenian (Qerakanutyun angghiakan yev hayeren) in 1817, and Armenian Grammar and English (Qerakanutyun hayeren yev angghiakan) in 1819, where he included quotations from classical and modern Armenian. Byron also participated in the compilation of the English Armenian dictionary (Barraran angghieren yev hayeren, 1821) and wrote the preface in which he explained the relationship of the Armenians with and the oppression of the Turkish "pashas" and the Persian satraps, and their struggle of liberation. His two main translations are the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, two chapters of Movses Khorenatsi's History of Armenia and sections of Nerses of Lambron's Orations.[51] His fascination was so great that he even considered a replacement of the Cain story of the Bible with that of the legend of Armenian patriarch Haik.[51] He may be credited with the birth of Armenology and its propagation.[51] His profound lyricism and ideological courage has inspired many Armenian poets, the likes of Ghevond Alishan, Smbat Shahaziz, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Ruben Vorberian and others.[51]

In Italy and GreeceEdit

File:Lord Byron in Albanian dress.jpg

From 1821 to 1822, he finished Cantos 6–12 of Don Juan at Pisa, and in the same year he joined with Leigh Hunt and Percy Bysshe Shelley in starting a short-lived newspaper, The Liberal, in the first number of which appeared The Vision of Judgment. For the first time since his arrival in Italy, Byron found himself tempted to give dinner parties; his guests included the Shelleys, Edward Ellerker Williams, Thomas Medwin, John Taaffe, and Edward John Trelawney; and "never," as Shelley said, "did he display himself to more advantage than on these occasions; being at once polite and cordial, full of social hilarity and the most perfect good humour; never diverg ing into ungraceful merriment, and yet keeping up the spirit of liveliness throughout the evening."[52] Shelley and Williams rented a house on the coast and had a schooner built. Byron decided to have his own yacht, and engaged Trelawny’s friend, Captain Daniel Roberts (Royal Navy officer), to design and construct the boat. Named the Bolivar, it was later sold to Charles John Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington, and Marguerite, Countess of Blessington when Byron left for Greece in 1823.[53][54]

Byron attended the funeral of Shelley, which was orchestrated by Trelawny after Williams and Shelley drowned in a boating accident on July 8, 1822. His last Italian home was Genoa, where he was still accompanied by the Countess Guiccioli, and the Blessingtons; providing the material for Lady Blessington’s work: Conversations with Lord Byron, an important text in the reception of Byron in the period immediately after his death.

Byron was living in Genoa, when in 1823, while growing bored with his life there, he accepted overtures for his support from representatives of the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.[55] With the assistance of his banker and Captain Roberts, Byron chartered the Brig Hercules to take him to Greece. On July 16, Byron left Genoa arriving at Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands on August 4. His voyage is covered in detail in Sailing with Byron from Genoa to Cephalonia.[56] There is a mystical coincidence in Byron’s chartering the Hercules. The vessel was launched only a few miles south of Seaham Hall, where in 1815 Byron married Annabella Milbanke. Between 1815 and 1823 the vessel was in service between England and Canada. Suddenly in 1823, the ship’s Captain decided to sail to Genoa and offer the Hercules for charter. After taking Byron to Greece, the ship returned to England, never again to venture into the Mediterranean. "The Hercules was age 37 when on September 21, 1852, her life ended when she went aground near Hartlepool, only 25 miles south of Sunderland, where in 1815, her keel was laid; Byron’s keel was laid nine months before his official birth date, January 22, 1788; therefore in ship-years, he was age 37, when he died in Messolonghi."[57] Byron spent £4000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet, then sailed for Messolonghi in western Greece, arriving on December 29, to join Alexandros Mavrokordatos, a Greek politician with military power. During this time, Byron pursued his Greek page, Lukas Chalandritsanos, but the affections went unrequited.[18] When the famous Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen heard about Byron's heroics in Greece, he voluntarily resculpted his earlier bust of Byron in Greek marble.[41]


Mavrokordatos and Byron planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. Byron employed a fire-master to prepare artillery and took part of the rebel army under his own command, despite his lack of military experience, but before the expedition could sail, on 15 February 1824, he fell ill, and the usual remedy of bloodletting weakened him further.(Citation needed) He made a partial recovery, but in early April he caught a violent cold which therapeutic bleeding, insisted on by his doctors, aggravated. It is suspected this treatment, carried out with unsterilised medical instrumentation, may have caused him to develop sepsis. He developed a violent fever, and died on 19 April.(Citation needed) His physician at the time, Dutch Julius van Millingen, was unable to prevent his death. It has been said that had Byron lived and gone on to defeat the Ottomans, he might have been declared King of Greece. However, this is unlikely.[18]

Post mortemEdit

File:Lord Byron on his Death-bed c. 1826.jpg

Alfred, Lord Tennyson would later recall the shocked reaction in Britain when word was received of Byron's death.[18] The Greeks mourned Lord Byron deeply, and he became a hero.[58][59] The national poet of Greece, Dionysios Solomos, wrote a poem about the unexpected loss, named To the Death of Lord Byron.[60] Βύρων ("Vyron"), the Greek form of "Byron", continues in popularity as a masculine name in Greece, and a suburb of Athens is called Vyronas in his honour.

Byron's body was embalmed, but the Greeks wanted some part of their hero to stay with them. According to some sources, his heart remained at Messolonghi.[61] According to others,(Citation needed) it was his lungs, which were placed in an urn that was later lost when the city was sacked. His other remains were sent to England for burial in Westminster Abbey, but the Abbey refused for reason of "questionable morality".[18][62] Huge crowds viewed his body as he lay in state for 2 days in London.[18] He is buried at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

At her request, Ada Lovelace, the child he never knew, was buried next to him.


Main article: Byron's poetry

Byron wrote prolifically.[63] In 1832 his publisher, John Murray, released the complete works in 14 duodecimo volumes, including a life[47] by Thomas Moore. Subsequent editions were released in 17 volumes, first published a year later, in 1833.

Although Byron falls chronologically into the period most commonly associated with Romantic poetry, much of his work looks back to the satiric tradition of Alexander Pope and John Dryden.

Don Juan Edit

Main article: Don Juan (Byron)

Byron's magnum opus, Don Juan, a poem spanning 17 cantos, ranks as one of the most important long poems published in England since John Milton's Paradise Lost.(Citation needed) The masterpiece, often called the epic of its time, has roots deep in literary tradition and, although regarded by early Victorians as somewhat shocking, equally involves itself with its own contemporary world at all levels — social, political, literary and ideological.

Byron published the first 2 cantos anonymously in 1819 after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry; by this time, he had been a famous poet for 7 years, and when he self-published the beginning cantos, they were well received in some quarters.[17] It was then released volume by volume through his regular publishing house.[17] By 1822, cautious acceptance by the public had turned to outrage, and Byron's publisher refused to continue to publish the works.[17] In Canto III of Don Juan, Byron expresses his detestation for poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.[17][64]


Byronic heroEdit

The figure of the Byronic hero pervades much of his work, and Byron himself is considered to epitomise many of the characteristics of this literary figure.[18] Scholars have traced the literary history of the Byronic hero from John Milton, and many authors and artists of the Romantic movement show Byron's influence during the 19th century and beyond, including Charlotte and Emily Brontë.[18] The Byronic hero presents an idealised, but flawed character whose attributes include(Citation needed): great talent; great passion; a distaste for society and social institutions; a lack of respect for rank and privilege (although possessing both); being thwarted in love by social constraint or death; rebellion; exile; an unsavory secret past; arrogance; overconfidence or lack of foresight; and, ultimately, a self-destructive manner.

Parthenon marblesEdit

Byron was a bitter opponent of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin's removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece, and "reacted with fury" when Elgin's agent gave him a tour of the Parthenon, during which he saw the missing friezes and metopes. He penned a poem, The Curse of Minerva, to denounce Elgin's actions.[65]



Statue of Byron at Messalongi. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Byron's friends raised the sum of 1,000 pounds to commission a statue of the writer; Thorvaldsen offered to sculpt it for that amount.[41] However, for 10 years after the statue was completed in 1834, most British institutions turned it down, and it remained in storage. The statue was refused by the British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery.[41] Trinity College, Cambridge, finally placed the statue of Byron in its library.[41]

On 8 May 1969, more than 145 years after Byron's death, a memorial stone to him, donated by the Poetry Society, was unveiled in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.[66]

The memorial had been lobbied for since 1907; The New York Times wrote, "People are beginning to ask whether this ignoring of Byron is not a thing of which England should be ashamed ... a bust or a tablet might be put in the Poets' Corner and England be relieved of ingratitude toward one of her really great sons."[67]

Robert Ripley had drawn a picture of Boatswain's grave with the caption "Lord Byron's dog has a magnificent tomb while Lord Byron himself has none". This came as a shock to the English, particularly schoolchildren, who, Ripley said, raised funds of their own accord to provide the poet with a suitable memorial. (Source: Ripley's Believe It or Not!, 3rd Series, 1950; p. xvi.)

Lord Byron Athens

Byron memorial in Athens, Greece. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

On a very central area of Athens, Greece, outside the National Garden, is a statue depicting Greece in the form of a woman crowning Byron. The statue was made by the French Henri-Michel Chapu and Alexandre Laguiere.

Upon his death, the barony passed to Byron's cousin George Anson Byron, a career military officer.

5 of his poems ("When we Two parted", "For Music", "So, we'll go no more a-roving", "She walks in beauty", and "The Isles of Greece") were included in the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.[68]

The re-founding of the Byron Society in 1971 reflects the fascination that many people have for Byron and his work.[69] This society has become very active, publishing an annual journal. Today 36 Byron Societies function throughout the world, and an International Conference takes place annually.

Byron exercised a marked influence on Continental literature and art, and his reputation as a poet is higher in many European countries than in Britain or America, although not as high as in his time, when he was widely thought to be the greatest poet in the world.[24] Byron has inspired the works of Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, and Giuseppe Verdi.[24]

In popular cultureEdit

Byron made his debut as a thinly disguised fictional character in his ex-love Lady Caroline Lamb's book Glenarvon, published in 1816.[18]

Byron is the main character of the film Byron by the Greek film maker Nikos Koundouros.

Byron's spirit is a title character of the Ghosts of Albion books by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden. John Crowley's book Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land (2005) involves the rediscovery of a lost manuscript by Lord Byron, as does Frederic Prokosch's The Missolonghi Manuscript (1968). Byron appears as a character in Tim Powers's The Stress of Her Regard (1989) and The Anubis Gates (1983), and Walter Jon Williams's novella Wall, Stone Craft (1994), and also in Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004).

Byron is an immortal still alive in modern times, in the television show Highlander: The Series in the 5th season episode The Modern Prometheus, living as a decadent rock star.

Tom Holland, in his 1995 novel The Vampyre: Being the True Pilgrimage of George Gordon, Sixth Lord Byron, romantically describes how Lord Byron became a vampire during his 1st visit to Greece — a fictional transformation that explains much of his subsequent behavior towards family and friends, and finds support in quotes from Byron poems and the diaries of John Cam Hobhouse. It is written as though Byron is retelling part of his life to his great great-great-great-granddaughter. He describes travelling in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, meeting Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley's death, and many other events in life around that time. The Byron as vampire character returns in the 1996 sequel Supping with Panthers.

Byron and Percy and Mary Shelley are portrayed in Roger Corman's final film Frankenstein Unbound, where the time traveller Dr. Buchanan (played by John Hurt) meets them as well as Victor von Frankenstein (played by Raúl Juliá).

The Black Drama by Manly Wade Wellman,[70] originally published in Weird Tales, involves the rediscovery and production of a lost play by Byron (from which Polidori's The Vampyre was plagiarised) by a man who purports to be a descendant of the poet.

Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia revolves around a modern researcher's attempts to find out what made Byron leave the country, while Howard Brenton's play Bloody Poetry features Byron alongside Polidori, the Shelleys and Claire Clairmont.

Television portrayals include a major 2003 BBC drama on Byron's life, and minor appearances in Highlander: The Series (as well as the Shelleys), Blackadder the Third, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, episode 60 (Darkling) of Star Trek: Voyager, and was also parodied in the animated sketch series, Monkey Dust.

He makes an appearance in the alternative history novel The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. In a Britain powered by the massive, steam-driven, mechanical computers invented by Charles Babbage, he is leader of the Industrial Radical Party, eventually becoming Prime Minister.

The events featuring the Shelleys' and Byron's relationship at the house beside Lake Geneva in 1816 have been fictionalised in film at least 3 times.

  1. A 1986 British production, Gothic, directed by Ken Russell, and starring Gabriel Byrne as Byron.
  2. A 1988 Spanish production, Rowing with the wind aka (Remando al viento), starring Hugh Grant as Byron.
  3. A 1988 U.S.A. production Haunted Summer. Adapted by Lewis John Carlino from the speculative novel by Anne Edwards, starring Philip Anglim as Lord Byron.

The brief prologue to Bride of Frankenstein includes Gavin Gordon as Byron, begging Mary Shelley to tell the rest of her Frankenstein story.

Writer and novelist Benjamin Markovits, producied a fictional trilogy about the life of Byron. Imposture (2007) looked at the poet from the point of view of his friend and doctor, John Polidori. A Quiet Adjustment, which came out in January 2008, is an account of Byron's marriage more sympathetic to his wife, Annabella, than many of its predecessors.

Byron is portrayed as an immortal in the book, Divine Fire, by Melanie Jackson. Byron is depicted in the book Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Milton.

In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Ecto Cooler", Byron's ghost appears from Billy's mouth, teaching him to be cool.

In the novel The History of Lucy's Love Life in Ten and a Half Chapters, Lucy Lyons uses a time machine to visit 1813 and meet Byron, who is her idol.

Byron is depicted in Tennessee William's play Camino Real.

Byron's life is the subject of the 2003 made for television movie Byron starring Jonny Lee Miller.

Byron is depicted as the villain/antagonist in the novel Jane Bites Back [71] written by Michael Thomas Ford, published by Ballantine Books, 2010. A novel based on the premise that Jane Austen (and Lord Byron) are Vampires living in the modern day literary world.

The play "A Year Without A Summer" by Brad C. Hodson is about Byron, Polidori, the Shelleys, and Claire Clairmont as they spend that famous summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati. As opposed to other works dealing with the same period, the play is more a biopic of Byron as he was following his divorce and exile from England than the Shelleys.

Lawrence Durrell wrote a poem called "Byron" as a lyrical soliloquy; it was first published in 1944.

Susanna Roxman's "Allegra" in her 1996 collection Broken Angels (Dionysia Press, Edinburgh) is a poem about Byron's daughter by Claire Clairmont. In this text, Byron is referred to as "Papa".

Dan Chapman's 2010 vampire novella The Postmodern Malady of Dr. Peter Hudson begins at the time of Lord Byron's death and uses biographical information about him in the construction of its title character. It also directly quotes some of his work.[72]

Stephanie Barron's series of Jane Austen Mysteries has Lord Byron a suspect of murder in the 2010 book, Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron.

He's depicted in the novel The Fire of Katherine Neville.

The archetypal vampire character, starting with Bram Stocker's Dracula, is based on Byron. The gothic ideal of a decadent, pale and aristocratic individual who enamors himself to whomever he meets but who is perceived to have a dark and dangerous inner-self is a literary form derived from characteristations of Byron.

Musical settings of poems by ByronEdit

  • 1820 - William Crathern: My Boat is On the Shore (1820), a setting for voice and piano of words from the poem To Thomas More written by Byron in 1817
  • c. 1820-1860 - Carl Loewe: 24 songs
  • 1833 - Gaetano Donizetti: Parisina, opera
  • 1834 - Hector Berlioz: Harold en Italie, symphony in four movements for viola and orchestra
  • 1835 - Gaetano Donizetti: Marino Faliero, opera
  • 1844 - Hector Berlioz: Le Corsaire overture (possibly also inspired by James Fenimore Cooper's Red Rover as the original title is Le Corsaire Rouge)
  • 1844 - Giuseppe Verdi: I due Foscari, opera in three acts
  • 1848 - Giuseppe Verdi: Il corsaro, opera in three acts
  • 1849 - Robert Schumann: Overture and incidental music to Manfred
  • 1849-54 - Franz Liszt: Tasso, Lamento e trionfo, symphonic poem
  • 1885 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58
  • 1896 - Hugo Wolf: Vier Gedichte nach Heine, Shakespeare und Lord Byron for voice and piano: 3. Sonne der Schlummerlosen 4. Keine gleicht von allen Schönen
  • 1916 - Pietro Mascagni: Parisina, opera in four acts
  • 1934 - Germaine Tailleferre: Two Poems of Lord Byron (1. Sometimes in moments... 2. 'Tis Done I heard it in my dreams... for Voice and Piano (Tailleferre's only setting of English language texts)
  • 1942 - Arnold Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon for reciter, string quartet and piano
  • mid 1970s: Arion Quinn: She Walks in Beauty
  • 1984 - David Bowie: Music video for Blue Jean and short promotional video for Blue Jean, Jazzin' for Blue Jean features him playing an rock star named Screaming Lord Byron (cf. Screaming Lord Sutch). His attire for the rock star mimics that of Lord Byron's in the portrait by Thomas Phillips.
  • 1997 - Solefald: When the Moon is on the Wave
  • 2002 - Ariella Uliano: So We'll Go No More A'Roving
  • 2002 - Warren Zevon: Lord Byron's Luggage
  • 2004 - Leonard Cohen: No More A-Roving
  • 2005 - Cockfighter (band): Destruction
  • 2006 - Kris Delmhorst: We'll Go No More A-Roving
  • 2006 - Cradle Of Filth: The Byronic Man featuring HIM's Ville Valo
  • 2008 - ALPHA 60: The rock, the vulture, and the chain
  • 2008 - Schiller (band) has a song called "Nacht" with Ben Becker on its album, Sehnsucht (Schiller album), which has video on Youtube. The lyrics are a shortened version of a poem in German called Die Seele that is attributed to Lord Byron. It appears to be a translation of the Byron poem, "When coldness wraps this suffering clay" from the collection, Hebrew Melodies. The Identity of the translator/author of Die Seele is unknown although the text may be from "Lord Byrons Werke In sechs Bänden" translated by Otto Gildemeister, 3rd Volume, Fifth Edition, Berlin 1903 (pages 134-135).
  • Perth rock band Eleventh He Reaches London are named in reference to the eleventh canto of Don Juan, in which Don Juan arrives in London. Their debut album, The Good Fight for Harmony also featured a track entitled "What Would Don Juan Do?"



  • Fugitive Pieces. Newark, NJ: Privately printed by Ridge, 1806
    • revised as Poems on Various Occasions. Newark, NJ: privately published by S. & J. Ridge, 1807
    • revised again, with differing contents, and printed as Hours of Idleness, A series of poems, original and translated. Newark, NJ: Printed & sold by S. & J. Ridge; sold also by B. Crosby & Co., Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, and F. & C. Rivington, London, 1807
    • 2nd edition, revised, published as Poems Original and Translated. Newark: S. & J. Ridge, 1808
    • republished as Hours of Idleness: A Series of Poems, Original and Translated. London: Printed for W.T. Sherwin, 1820.
  • English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers: A satire. London: James Cawthorn, 1809
    • 2nd edition, revised and enlarged, London: James Cawthorn, 1809; Charleston, SC: J. Maxwell, for E. Morford, Willinton, 1811.
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. A romaunt [Cantos I and II]. London: Thomas Davison, for John Murray / William Blackwood, Edinburgh / John Cumming, Dublin,1812; Philadelphia: William Fry, for Moses Thomas, 1812
    • 2nd edition, enlarged. London: Printed for John Murray, William Blackwood, Edinburgh, and John Cumming, Dublin, by Thomas Davison, 1812
    • 7th edition, enlarged. London: Printed by Thomas Davison for John Murray, 1814.
  • The Curse of Minerva. London: Privately printed by T. Davison, 1812; Philadelphia: Printed for De-Silver & Co., 1815.
  • Waltz: An apostrophic hymn (as "Horace Hornem, Esq."). London: S. Gosnell, for Sherwood, Neely & Jones, 1813.
  • The Giaour: A fragment of a Turkish tale. London: privately printed by T. Davison for John Murray, 1813; 1st published edition, London:T. Davison, for John Murray, 1813; Philadelphia: M. Thomas, 1813
    • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 7th editions, enlarged. London: T. Davison, for John Murray, 1813; 2nd American edition, from the 5th London edition, Philadelphia: M. Thomas, 1813.
  • The Bride of Abydos. A Turkish tale. London: T. Davison, for John Murray, 1813
    • 3rd and 4th editions, slightly enlarged. London: T. Davison, for John Murray, 1813; Boston: N. G. House, 1814; Philadelphia: William Fry, for Moses Thomas, 1814.
  • The Corsair, A tale. London: Thomas Davison, for John Murray, 1814
    • 2nd edition, enlarged, 1814; Baltimore: Printed & published by B. Edes, 1814; Boston: Published by West & Blake, 1814; New York: Eastburn, Kirk & Co., 1814; Philadelphia: Published by Moses Thomas, printed by J. Maxwell, 1814.
  • Ode to Napoléon Buonaparte. London: Printed for John Murray by W. Bulmer, 1814; Boston: Munroe, 1814; New York: Printed by J. Low, 1814; Newburyport: W. B. Allen, 1814; Philadelphia: Published by Edward Earle, 1814.
  • Lara. A tale [by Byron] / Jacqueline. A Tale [by Samuel Rogers]. London: Printed for J. Murray by T. Davison, 1814; Boston: Wells & Lilly, 1814; New York: Eastburn & Kirk, 1814.
  • A Selection of Hebrew Melodies Ancient and Modern (lyrics by Byron with musical arrangements by Isaac Nathan and John Braham). London: I. Nathan, 1815
    • Byron's lyrics republished as Hebrew Melodies. London: Printed for John Murray, 1815; Boston: John Eliot, 1815; New York: Printed & sold by T. & J. Swords, 1815.
  • Reflections on Shipboard. London: R.S. Kirby & W. Allason, 1816.[73]
  • The Siege of Corinth: A poem / Parisina: A poem. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816; New York: Van Winkle & Wiley, 1816.
  • Poems. London: Printed for John Murray by W. Bulmer, 1816; New York: Published by Thomas Kirk & Thomas R. Mercein; Moses Thomas, M. Carey & Son, Philadelphia; Wells & Lilly, Boston; Coale & Maxwell, Baltimore; printed by T. & W. Mercein, 1817.
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto the third. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816; Boston: Published by Munroe & Francis, 1817.
  • The Prisoner of Chillon, and other poems. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816; Boston: Published by Munroe & Francis, 1817.
  • Monody on the Death of the Right Honourable R.B. Sheridan. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.
  • Manfred: A dramatic poem. London: John Murray, 1817; New York: Published by D. Longworth, 1817; New York: Van Winkle & Wiley, 1817; Philadelphia: Published by M. Thomas, printed by J. Maxwell, 1817.
  • The Lament of Tasso. London: John Murray, 1817; New York: Van Winkle & Wiley, 1817.
  • Beppo: A Venetian story. London: John Murray, 1818; Boston: Munroe & Francis, 1818; New York: A.T. Goodrich, 1818
    • 4th edition, enlarged, London: John Murray, 1818.
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto the fourth. London: John Murray, 1818; New York: Published by James Eastburn & Co., printed by Clayton & Eastland, 1818; New York: A. T. Goodrich, 1818; New York: Kirk & Mercein, 1818; Philadelphia: Printed by J. Maxwell for M. Thomas, 1818.
  • Mazeppa: A poem. London: John Murray, 1819; Boston: Wells & Lilly, 1819; Philadelphia: Published by M. Thomas and J. Haly & C. Thomas, New York, 1819.
  • Don Juan [Cantos I and II]. London: Printed by Thomas Davison, 1819; New York: W.B. Gilley, 1820.
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: A romaunt, in four cantos. (2 volumes), London: John Murray, 1819; Nuremberg & New York: Frederick Campe & Co., 1831.
  • Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice: An historical tragedy, in Five Acts. With Notes. The Prophecy of Dante, A Poem. London: John Murray, 1821; Philadelphia: M. Carey & Sons, 1821.
  • Don Juan: Cantos III, IV, and V. London: Printed by Thomas Davison, 1821; New York: William B. Gilley, printed by J. Seymour, 1821.
  • Sardanapalus: A tragedy / The Two Foscari: A tragedy / Cain: A mystery. London: John Murray, 1821; Boston: Wells & Lilly and Munroe & Francis, 1822; New York: S. Campbell, 1822; New York: W. B. Gilley, 1822.
  • The Age of Bronze; or, Carmen seculare et annus haud mirabilis. London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823; Cincinnati: Printed for the publishers, 1823; New York: Published by S. Campbell & Son, W. B. Gilley, Collins & Co., Collins & Hannay, E. Bliss & E. White, printed by J. & J. Harper, 1823; New York: Published by R. Norris Henry and E. Littell, Philadelphia, 1823.
  • The Island; or, Christian and his comrades. London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823; New York: E. Duyckinck, 1823; Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1823.
  • Don Juan: Cantos VI.--VII.--and VIII. London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823; Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1823.
  • Don Juan: Cantos IX.--X.--and XI. London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823; Albany, N.Y.: Printed by E. & E. Hosford, 1823; Philadelphia: J. Mortimer, 1823.
  • Don Juan: Cantos XII.--XIII.--and XIV. London: Printed for John Hunt, 1823; New York: Charles Wiley, 1824.
  • Werner: A tragedy. London: John Murray, 1823; Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1823).
  • The Deformed Transformed: A drama. London: Printed for J. & H.L. Hunt, 1824; Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1824.
  • Don Juan: Cantos XV. and XVI. London: Printed for John & H.L. Hunt, 1824; New York: W. B. Gilley, 1824; Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1824).
  • Poetry of Byron (edited by Matthew Arnold). London: Macmillan, 1881.

Collected editionsEdit


  • Marino Faliero. London, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 25 April 1821.

Speeches and LettersEdit

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[78]

Poems by Lord ByronEdit

When We Two Parted - a poem of love, loss and betrayal

When We Two Parted - a poem of love, loss and betrayal

Stanzas for Music, Lord Byron, Poem Video

Stanzas for Music, Lord Byron, Poem Video

Prometheus - Lord Byron poem reading Jordan Harling Reads

Prometheus - Lord Byron poem reading Jordan Harling Reads

  1. Darkness (1816)
  2. Fare Thee Well (1816)
  3. She Walks in Beauty (1814)
  4. So, we'll go no more a-roving (1830)

See alsoEdit


  • Blackstone, Byron: 'Byron and Islam: the triple Eros' (Journal of European Studies vol. 4 no. 4, Dec. 1974, 325-63)
  • Crompton, Louis. Byron and Greek Love: Homophobia in 19th-Century England. Faber and Faber, 1985.
  • Garrett, Martin: George Gordon, Lord Byron. (British Library Writers' Lives). London: British Library, 2000. ISBN 0-7123-4657-0.
  • Garrett, Martin. 'Palgrave Literary Dictionary of Byron'. Palgrave, 2010. ISBN 978-0-230-00897-7
  • Guiccioli, Teresa, contessa di, Lord Byron's Life in Italy, transl. Michael Rees, ed. Peter Cochran, 2005, ISBN 0-87413-716-0.
  • Grosskurth, Phyllis: Byron: The Flawed Angel. Hodder, 1997. ISBN 0-340-60753-X
  • MacCarthy, Fiona: Byron: Life and Legend. John Murray, 2002. ISBN 0-7195-5621-X.
  • McGann, Jerome: Byron and Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-00722-4.
  • Oueijan, Naji B. A Compendium of Eastern Elements in Byron's Oriental Tales. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1999.
  • Prell, Donald: Sailing with Byron from Genoa to Cephalonia. Strand Publishing, 2009, ISBN 0-9741975-5-6.
  • Prell, Donald: Lord Byron Coincidence or Destiny. Strand Publishing, 2009,
  • Rosen, Fred: Bentham, Byron and Greece. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992. ISBN 0-19-820078-1.
  • St Clair, William, That Greece Might Still Be Free: The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2008)
  • Thiollet, Jean-Pierre: Carré d'Art: Barbey d'Aurevilly, lord Byron, Salvador Dali, Jean-Edern Hallier, Anagramme éditions, 2008. ISBN 978-2-35035-189-6



  1. 1.0 1.1 John William Cousin, "Byron, George Gordon, 6th Lord Byron," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, 1910, 66-68. Web, Dec. 22, 2017.
  2. Castle, Terry (13 April 1997). "'Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  3. Plomer, William (1970) [1936]. The Diamond of Jannina. New York City: Taplinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0224617215. "Byron had yet to die to make philhellenism generally acceptable." 
  4. The Gordons of Gight
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  25. MacCarthy, p.61
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  28. Byron Blackstone (Dec. 1974), “Byron and Islam: the triple Eros” (Journal of European Studies vol. 4 no. 4, pp. 325-63); Byron to Moore, 8 March 1816, in Marchand vol. 5, p. 45
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  32. Christensen, Jerome (1993), Lord Byron's Strength, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
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  40. Eisler, Benita (1999). Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame. Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 0-679-41299-9, chapter one (online at The New York Times), p. 13: "For Byron, his deformed foot became the crucial catastrophe of his life. He saw it as the mark of satanic connection, referring to himself as le diable boiteux, the lame devil."
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