Lord Gordon Byron (1788-1824) (First half of life (A year later he…
Lord Gordon Byron (1788-1824)
in full name George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
was born with a birth defect that caused him a lot of mental and physical pain - a deformity of his right foot
He was a bisexual and had an overall scandlous sex life
while at school, he fell in love with a man named John Edleston.
affair with his half-sister, leading to one child
allegedly over the course of a year while in Venice, he had sex with over 250 women
He owned a bear, fox, monkeys, parrot, eagle, crocodile, falcon, peacock, badger, and a dog named Boatswain
He was also accused of having sex with animals
First half of life
At age 10, George inherited the title of his great-uncle, William Byron, and was officially recognized as Lord Byron
he attended Harrow School in London
fell deeply in love with his distant cousin, and this passion found expression in several poems
attended Trinity College (1805-1808)
engaged in many sexual escapades and fell deep into debt
formed an enduring friendship with John Cam Hobhouse
was initiated into liberal politics
Upon turning 21, Byron took his seat in the House of Lords
A year later he embarked on a grand tour
With John Hobhouse, traveled through Portugal, Spain, Malta, Albania, Greece and Turkey
he began writing "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," a poem of a young man's reflections on travel in foreign lands
Byron returned to London after the death of his mother
a series of love affairs, first with Lady Caroline Lamb, who described Byron as "mad, bad and dangerous to know," and then with Lady Oxford, who encouraged Byron's radicalism
The guilt he experienced as a result of these affairs was reflected in his dark poems like "The Giaour," "The Bride of Abydos" and "The Corsair"
Second half of life
1814, seeking to escape the pressures of his affairs, Byron proposed to Anne Isabella Milbanke.
They married in January 1815, and in December of that year, their daughter, Ada Lovelace, was born
a month later the marriage fell apart as Annabella left Byron amid his drinking, increased debt, and rumors of his relations with his half sister and of his bisexuality. He never saw his wife or daughter again
Byron left England, never to return.
He traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, befriending Percy Bysshe Shelley, his wife Mary and her stepsister, Claire Clairmont.
While in Geneva, Byron wrote the third canto to "Childe Harold,"
Shelleys departed for England, where Claire gave birth to Byron's daughter Allegra in January 1817.
Byron and John Hobhouse sailed for Italy.
Along the way he continued his lustful ways with several women and portrayed these experiences in his famous poem, "Don Juan."
He met 19-year-old Teresa Guiccioli, a married countess.
The pair were immediately attracted to each other and carried on a non-sexual relationship until she separated from her husband. Byron soon won over Teresa's father, who had him initiated into the secret society dedicated to freeing Italy from Austrian rule
In 1823 Byron accepted an invitation to support Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. He spent 4,000 pounds of his own money to help.
In February 1824 he fell ill.
Byron died on April 19, 1824, at the age of 36. He was deeply mourned in England and became a hero in Greece.
His body was brought back to England, but the clergy refused to bury him at Westminster Abbey, as was the custom. Instead, he was buried in the family vault near Newstead. In 1969, a memorial to Byron was finally placed on the floor of Westminster Abbey.
he brief poems "She Walks in Beauty", "When We Two Parted", and "So, we'll go no more a roving"
poems "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" and "Don Juan"
one of the greatest British poets
writings are autobiographical
alternated between melancholy and humorous mockery in his reaction to the disparity between real life and his unattainable ideals