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Byron was born into an aristocratic family but at no point did he ever expect to become a lord; by which it is meant that his grandfather, who was an admiral known as Foul-Weather Jack because of his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea was the son of an old aristocratic family known as the Byrons ; a family whose lineage is traced back to a man named John Byron, a Royalist who was ennobled and thus given lands by Charles I for his support during the English Civil War of He lived a very profligate and debauched lifestyle, spending much of his time in the local brothels, pubs and gambling dens.

He soon met a Scottish girl named Catherine whom, despite having a rather plain and ungainly appearance , he married for money. In Catherine produced a son named George Gordon Byron. He then ended the relationship after spending all of her fortune and in died of consumption, thus leaving the young Byron to be brought up in near poverty by his bankrupt and widowed mother. Byron was born with a club foot, a deformity that troubled him greatly both physically and mentally. He was always acutely conscious of his foot and this played into his feelings of being an outsider, thus making him somewhat vulnerable and unsure of his place in the world.

Many painful operations were undertaken in his early years to straighten out his foot, however despite assistance from the leading physicians of the day such as Matthew Baillie , no permanent solution was ever found.

It was originally printed and published by S. Hours of Idleness is partly based on two of his earlier, privately published works, namely Fugitive Pieces and Poems on Various Occasions. The preface to the book somewhat angered reviewers, as it was written in a way in which it simultaneously appeared overly humble and yet conceited. He mentions many times, in a vain attempt to appear modest, his youthfulness and lack of worldly experience. It is just that it has completely demolished my little fabric of fame.

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In response to the scathing review of his book Hours of Idleness, Byron wrote English Bards and Scotch Reviewers originally entitled British Bards, a Satire in which he vents his resentment by attacking the editor, along with the other writers of The Edinburgh Review. No muse will cheer with renovating smile,.

The paralytic puling of Carlisle. The puny schoolboy, and his early lay. Men pardon, if his follies pass away;. Whose hairs grow hoary as his rhymes grow worse? What heterogeneous honours deck the peer! Although the poems were published anonymously, everybody was well aware that they were written by Byron. This publication was undeniably responsible for capturing the attention of the establishment, not least because it was written so brilliantly and with a great deal of passion.

After finishing up at Trinity College, Cambridge in , Byron decided to travel to Europe on a Grand Tour a tradition upheld by many of his young aristocratic contemporaries at that time. The reason for his departure, however, appears somewhat puzzling. It would not be difficult to believe that he would have enjoyed visiting the sites with which he would have felt a certain fondness for; the places vividly described in books written by Homer and Plato, which he doubtlessly would have read as a young scholar.

It was said Byron wrote it as a response to Hobhouse asking him to burn his journal which contained intimate details of the acts he had indulged whilst abroad. In the early drafts of the poem , Childe Harold was called Childe Burun ; a name he changed half way through canto one because it resembled too closely his own. By entitling his poem as such, Byron was undertaking a quest to prove himself to the world.

Although Byron resolutely claimed the poem to be fictitious, it was very much based on his own experiences. Harold the protagonist is somewhat heavily influenced by Byron and possesses many of his own personal traits: he is highly intelligent, well-educated, sophisticated, but also dissolute, capricious, melancholy and promiscuous. It is said that Harold is one of the three Byronic doubles, along with Manfred and Don Juan; two major characters he would later create. Byron was able to set himself aside from his contemporaries both past and present by offering what was , at the time , an unconventional travelogue.

It was initially published by John Murray as a travelogue ; a misunderstanding that wrong-footed both the reviewers and the public alike. It quickly became clear, however, that the book was very much a narrative romaunt blended into a travelogue with satirical and Wordsworthian descriptive elements. The thought of her would likely have given him the inspiration he needed to beautifully describe the landscape in which Harold travelled. He no longer wishes to continue down his current dissolute path; he is ready for a change.

This is not a story of redemption, however. His aim is not for us to see Harold gradually move, in the moral spectrum, from dark to light. He also complains about The Convention of Sintra , an agreement in which Britain allowed the French to retreat with their weapons out of Portugal.

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At the end of canto one, Byron describes two battles merged into one , namely Talavera and Albuera. In the third canto, the journey takes Harold to Waterloo, and then into Switzerland. There he talks about the sublimity of the landscape—in quasi Wordsworthian fashion—as well as the unpleasantness of all the fighting that had occurred during the Peninsular War.

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Here Harold visits several notable cities, such as Florence and Rome; and is disillusioned once more by the fall of another mighty civilization. The narrative poem ends with no definitive conclusion. There is the idea, however, that Harold is a better person having experienced the journey, and that it has inspired him to contemplate his own existence. This news may not have shocked Byron, as during his trip abroad he had received several letters from his mother in which she wrote that she was very ill. A day later, she was dead.

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Knowing that such a letter would result in much consternation, Mr. I heard one day of her illness, the next of her death! Rumors made by the townspeople, however, characterised her as a drunk who was oftentimes reduced to the point of stupor. By, I had but one friend in the world, and she is gone! He instead ordered a young servant by the name of Robert Rushton to a boxing match, and pummeled him senselessly.

The following year began quiet and inauspiciously for Byron. He was to make his maiden speech in the House of Lords, an event for which he had spent much time preparing. The speech itself was both long and splendid; it was, however, not terribly well received. His speech, not lacking in any grandeur, was in opposition of The Framework Bill of ; an act which was designed to make the destruction of mechanised farming equipment a crime worthy of capital punishment.

Despite his worthy aim to aid the Luddites in their noble cause, his impassioned speech failed to the sway to opinions of those already in support of it. The bill was unsurprisingly passed later that day. With the rise of his popularity, Byron became a permanent fixture at society banquets, balls and parties; this enabled him to brush shoulders with the elite women whom he would later become involved.

Though their affair did not last long, it was perhaps the most publically scandalised of all his relationships. Lady Caroline Lamb was one of the surest aristocratic ladies Byron would ever meet as she had a powerful status in society enabling her to behave any which way she wished with near impunity; a luxury Byron would never quite have.

If taken from a purely social perspective, she was an excellent match. Her wealth and reputation would certainly have elevated Byron through the social ranks. One problem, however, was that she was already married to a young Tory who would later become Prime Minister named William Lamb. Such a phrase also summed her up as she too was unruly, defiant and highly mischievous. Her relationship with William Lamb was viewed as a fragile one, and both of them would regularly commit adultery; each aware the other was also guilty of the act.

Caroline also had a reckless disdain for convention and was never shy of public disgrace; quite the contrary , gaining notoriety was one such thing that pleased her. Byron was likely interested in her because, although she was undoubtedly fun to be with, she also encouraged the wickedness innate within his own personality. Their relationship, however, would soon end as Byron grew tired of her boundless energy, her obsession for taboo and, of course, her possessiveness of him.

He was also weary of a scandal braking out, as newspapers had already acquired details of their sordid affair, and did not want to further threaten his chances of attracting a respectable future wife.

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His relationship with Lady Caroline Lamb turned out, in the long run, to be not nearly as controversial as his affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. It is important to note that as children, they did not grow up together; this meant that when they began corresponding, they did so almost as if they were strangers. Nevertheless, after a number of years, they did arrange to meet face-to-face. After meeting and spending a great amount of time together, Byron detected many delightful qualities present in his sister that were absent in his other women: tolerance, temperance, patience, family affection, discretion, reticence, purity ; all of which were unattainable to him.

And he gradually, day after day, began to fall in love with her. Augusta was tall and slim, she had a cleft chin and was not considered to be naturally attractive, but her shyness and lack of fashion sense appealed to his sense of imperfect beauty. Together they acted much like children in a make-believe fantasy, perhaps in an attempt to recapture the lost innocence they both desperately craved.

Her propensity for baby talk made her approachable and appear simple minded, a trait which, at times, annoyed Lord Byron. Nonetheless, his relationship with her would have been the most genuine he ever had since his ill-fated romance with Cambridge chorister John Edleston. Fleeing from the women and the debtors, he settled in Venice where he claimed to make love to over women in the first two years and eventually settled into semi-domesticity with his last mistress, the Countess Guiccioli.

Continuing to scandalize with his agnostic poetry, his poetic fame rests on his masterpiece, 'Don Juan' - his personal life came to an end when he went to Greece in armour of his own design to fight for the country's freedom from the Turks, and died of a fever, his last poem written to his klast love, a beautiful Grecian boy.

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Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Summary Lord Byron was born in poverty, and remained in poverty for most of his life: money-lenders and other debtors paid for his luxurious life-style and his incessant womanizing. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Book Preview Byron - Derek Parker.