When Lord Byron published Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, he woke up one moring to find himself famous. Not long after that, when the word of his separation from Lady Byron got out, he woke up one morning to find himself infamous. Ever since then, his name has been linked inextricably with great lyric poetry and great sexual scandal. Women found him irresistible; he found them irresistible, and the resulting fireworks flared through the skies of the English upper classes of the Regency with tremendous color and enormous noise.
Francis Gribble explores these aspects of Byron's life with the care and judgment of a skillful biographer combined with the curiousity and pique of a gossip columnist. He deals carefully with his sources and his evidence, but is not afraid to follow wherever they may lead, whether to the cultured warmth and pleasures of Byron's Venetian mistress, the Countess Guiccioli, or the depths of Lady Byron's cold and measured hatred and her whispered accusations of incest. Through it all, he traces one constant thread: the one and only woman Byron loved throughout his life. Enjoy!
"Sure of entertainment and an evening spent in the agreeable companionship of a man whose mellow judgments of people's actions are his own and firmly planted on the comprehending basis of a member of society at large, one sits down to Mr. Gribble's new book with pleasant anticipations. One knows he will be taken into a world vividly recaptured by an alert and perceiving mind, and that he will get sagacious comment and real interpretation none the worse for the sause piquant with which it is served." (The Bookman, December 1910)
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