The Romantic Crowd (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, 97)

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Sign in with your library card. Search within Byron, was attached to Nicolo Giraud, a young French-Greek lad who had been a model for the painter Lusieri before Byron found him. Byron left him 7, pounds in his will. When Byron returned to Italy, he became involved with a number of boys in Venice but eventually settled on Loukas Chalandritsanos, age 15, who was with him when he was killed [ sic ] [] Crompton, In , Byron embarked on a well-publicised affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb that shocked the British public.

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 sarcastically commented to her mother-in-law, his friend Lady Melbourne , that he was "haunted by a skeleton". Once, during such a visit, she wrote on a book at his desk, "Remember me!

Remember Thee! 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, [] and by others as innocent. Eventually Byron began to court Lady Caroline's cousin Anne Isabella Milbanke "Annabella" , who refused his first proposal of marriage but later accepted him.

The Romantic Crowd : Sympathy, Controversy and Print Culture

Milbanke was a highly moral woman, intelligent and mathematically gifted; she was also an heiress. The marriage proved unhappy. He treated her poorly. They had a daughter, Augusta Ada. On 16 January , Lady Byron left him, taking Ada with her.

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That same year 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. Elizabeth Medora Leigh — In part of a baptismal record was uncovered which apparently said: "September 24 George illegitimate son of Lucy Monk, illegitimate son of Baron Byron, of Newstead, Nottingham, Newstead Abbey. Augusta Leigh 's child, Elizabeth Medora Leigh , born , was very likely fathered by Byron, who was Augusta's half-brother.

Byron had a child, The Hon.

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Ada Lovelace, notable in her own right, collaborated with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine , a predecessor to modern computers. She is recognised [] as one of [] the world's first computer programmers. Allegra is not entitled to the style "The Hon. Born in Bath in , 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. Byron was indifferent towards Allegra's mother, Claire Clairmont.

Byron enjoyed adventure, especially relating to the sea. The first recorded notable example of open water swimming took place on 3 May when Lord Byron swam from Europe to Asia across the Hellespont Strait.

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Whilst sailing from Genoa to Cephalonia in , every day at noon, Byron and Trelawny, in calm weather, jumped overboard for a swim without fear of sharks, which were not unknown in those waters. Byron had a great love of animals, most notably for a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain.

When the animal contracted rabies , Byron nursed him, albeit unsuccessfully, without any thought or fear of becoming bitten and infected. Although deep in debt at the time, Byron commissioned an impressive marble funerary monument for Boatswain at Newstead Abbey, larger than his own, and the only building work which he ever carried out on his estate. In his will, Byron requested that he be buried with him. Byron also kept a tame bear while he was a student at Trinity, out of resentment for rules forbidding pet dogs like his beloved Boatswain.

There being no mention of bears in their statutes, the college authorities had no legal basis for complaining: Byron even suggested that he would apply for a college fellowship for the bear. During his lifetime, in addition to numerous cats, dogs, and horses, Byron kept a fox , monkeys , an eagle , a crow , a falcon , peacocks , guinea hens , an Egyptian crane , a badger , geese , a heron , and a goat.

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As a boy, Byron's character is described as a "mixture of affectionate sweetness and playfulness, by which it was impossible not to be attached", although he also exhibited "silent rages, moody sullenness and revenge" with a precocious bent for attachment and obsession. From birth, Byron suffered from a deformity of his right foot. Although it has generally been referred to as a " club foot ", some modern medical authors maintain that it was a consequence of infantile paralysis poliomyelitis , and others that it was a dysplasia , a failure of the bones to form properly.

Although he often wore specially-made shoes in an attempt to hide the deformed foot, [37] he refused to wear any type of brace that might improve the limp.

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Scottish novelist John Galt felt his oversensitivity to the "innocent fault in his foot was unmanly and excessive" because the limp was "not greatly conspicuous". He first met Byron on a voyage to Sardinia and did not realise he had any deficiency for several days, and still could not tell at first if the lameness was a temporary injury or not. At the time Galt met him he was an adult and had worked to develop "a mode of walking across a room by which it was scarcely at all perceptible". He was renowned for his personal beauty, which he enhanced by wearing curl-papers in his hair at night.

Byron and other writers, such as his friend Hobhouse , described his eating habits in detail.


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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 amount 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.


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  5. Although he is described by Galt and others as having a predilection for "violent" exercise, Hobhouse suggests that the pain in his deformed foot made physical activity difficult and that his weight problem was the result. Byron first took his seat in the House of Lords 13 March [] but left London on 11 June for the Continent. His first speech before the Lords, on 27 February , 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, and concluded the proposed law was only missing two things to be effective: "Twelve Butchers for a Jury and a Jeffries for a Judge!

    Byron's speech was officially recorded and printed in Hansard. Two months later, in conjunction with the other Whigs, Byron made another impassioned speech before the House of Lords in support of Catholic emancipation. Byron wrote prolifically.

    Edited by David Duff

    Subsequent editions were released in 17 volumes, first published a year later, in 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. In addition to its biting satire, the poem especially in the early cantos is funny. Byron published the first two cantos anonymously in after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry.

    By this time, he had been a famous poet for seven years, and when he self-published the beginning cantos, they were well received in some quarters. Byron was a bitter opponent of Lord 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 spaces left by the missing friezes and metopes. Byron is considered to be the first modern-style celebrity. His image as the personification of the Byronic hero fascinated the public, [37] and his wife Annabella coined the term "Byromania" to refer to the commotion surrounding him.

    Biographies were distorted by the burning of Byron's memoir in the offices of his publisher, John Murray , a month after his death and the suppression of details of Byron's bisexuality by subsequent heads of the firm which held the richest Byron archive. As late as the s, scholar Leslie Marchard was expressly forbidden by the Murray company to reveal details of Byron's same-sex passions. The re-founding of the Byron Society in reflected the fascination that many people had with Byron and his work.

    Thirty-six 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. Over forty operas have been based on his works, in addition to three operas about Byron himself including Virgil Thomson 's Lord Byron.

    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.

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