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Lord (George Gordon) Byron 1788-1824. The most notorious Romantic poet . Byron was famous in his lifetime for his love affairs with women (and some men, too!). He created the concept of the 'Byronic hero' - a defiant, melancholy young man, brooding on some mysterious, unforgivable in past.

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Lord (George Gordon) Byron 1788-1824


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    1. Lord (George Gordon)Byron 1788-1824

    2. The most notorious Romantic poet. Byron was famous in his lifetime for his love affairs with women (and some men, too!). • He created the concept of the 'Byronic hero' - a defiant, melancholy young man, brooding on some mysterious, unforgivable in past. • Byron's influence on European poetry, music, novel, opera, and painting has been immense, although the poet was widely condemned on moral grounds by his contemporaries.

    3. He was born with a club-footand became extreme sensitivity about it. His life did not become easier when he received painful treatments for his foot by a quack practitioner. Eventually he got a corrective boot. • At home Byron's alcoholic governess made sexual advances when he was nine. According to some sources, Byron was also seduced by the lord who rented his mansion before he inherited it.

    4. His father died in 1791, and he inherited the title and property of his great-uncle in 1798. Byron went on to boarding school where he excelled in swimming, and Cambridge, where he piled up debts and aroused alarm with bisexual love affairs. The home he inherited

    5. In his works, short and stout Byron glorified proud heroes who overcome hardships. Many think he saw his own physical challenges as an inspiration… The poet himself was 5 feet 8 inches tall and his widely varying weight ranged from 135 to 205 pounds - he once said that everything he swallowed was instantly converted to tallow and deposited on his ribs. One of his friends noted that at the age of about 30 he looked 40 and "the knuckles of his hands were lost in fat." Body Image

    6. In 1802, he probably first met his half-sister, Augusta Leigh (whom it is believed he later fathered a child with) At the age of fifteen he fell in love with Mary Chaworth, his distant cousin... Byron in 1802 Half-sister Augusta Leigh Family Love! Mary Chaworth

    7. The next year he set out on his grand tour, visiting Spain, Albania, Greece, and the Aegean. In Malta, where he stayed for a brief period, he received treatments for gonorrhea. Please practice safe sex…and don’t get with your Half-sister. Trust me.

    8. Success came in 1812 when Byron published the first two cantos of CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE (1812-1818). He became an adored character of London society and had a hectic love-affair with socialite Lady Caroline Lamb. “I awoke one morning and found myself famous!” “He’s Mad –Bad – and dangerous to know”

    9. More lovin’ for Byron… Augusta Leigh While staying in Venice, Byron bragged about “having” 200 different women on consecutive evenings! Babies! Annabella Milbanke Countess Guiccioli

    10. Rebellion and Death • After Byron started to support the Italian insurrectionist movement against Austrian rule, the Austrian secret police started to follow his movements. • Byron sailed to Greece to aid the Greeks, who had risen against their Ottoman overlords. However, before Byron saw any serious military action, he contracted the fever from which he died on 19 April 1824. Before his death his condition was worsened by a leeching procedure.

    11. Even after death, everyone still wants him… The Greeks wished to bury him in Athens, but only his heart stayed in the country. Part of his skull and his internal organs had been removed for souvenirs. Finally Byron's coffin was placed in the family vault at Abbey in Nottinghamshire.

    12. SO WE'LL GO NO MORE A ROVING So we'll go no more a rovingso late into the nightThough the heart be still as lovingAnd the moon be still as bright. For the sword outwears the sheath,And the soul wears out the breast,And the heart must pause to breathe,And Love itself have rest. Though the night was made for loving,And the day returns too soon,Yet we'll go no more a rovingBy the light of the moon. “She Walks in Beauty” “Darkness”

    13. The Byronic Hero

    14. An idealized but flawed character whose attributes may include: • having conflicting emotions, bipolar tendencies, or moodiness • self-critical and introspective • struggles with integrity • having a distaste for social institutions and social norms • being an exile, an outcast, an outlaw, or just a loner • a lack of respect for rank and privilege • having a troubled past • being cynical, demanding, and/or arrogant • often self-destructive • troubles with sexual identity