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The life and works of george gordon

See Article History Alternative Titles: After her husband had squandered most of her fortune, Mrs. Byron took her infant son to AberdeenScotland, where they lived in lodgings on a meagre income; the captain died in France in 1791. George Gordon Byron had been born with a clubfoot and early developed an extreme sensitivity to his lameness. In 1798, at age 10, he unexpectedly inherited the title and estates of his great-uncle William, the 5th Baron Byron.

His mother proudly took him to Englandwhere the boy fell in love with the ghostly halls and spacious ruins of Newstead Abbey, which had been presented to the Byrons by Henry VIII.

In 1803 he fell in love with his distant cousin, Mary Chaworth, who was older and already engaged, and when she rejected him she became the symbol for Byron of idealized and unattainable love.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)

In 1806 Byron had his early poems privately printed in a volume entitled Fugitive Pieces, and that same year he formed at Trinity what was to be a close, lifelong friendship with John Cam Hobhousewho stirred his interest in liberal Whiggism.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. A sarcastic critique of the book in The Edinburgh Review provoked his retaliation in 1809 with a couplet satireEnglish Bards and Scotch Reviewersin which he attacked the contemporary literary scene.

Battle of Britain

This work gained him his first recognition. On reaching his majority in 1809, Byron took his seat in the House of Lordsand then embarked with Hobhouse on a grand tour. In March 1810 he sailed with Hobhouse for Constantinople now Istanbul, Turkeyvisited the site of Troy, and swam the Hellespont present-day Dardanelles in imitation of Leander. He delighted in the sunshine and the moral tolerance of the people.

Byron arrived back in London in July 1811, and his mother died before he could reach her at Newstead.

  1. When the rumors grew, Byron signed the legal separation papers and went abroad, never returning to England.
  2. The route for many was through sensation and emotional experience.
  3. On 19 April 1824 he died from fever at Missolonghi, in modern day Greece.
  4. In July 1823, Byron left Italy to join the Greek insurgents who were fighting a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire.
  5. Byron travelled on to Italy, where he was to live for more than six years. Upon close examination, however, the paradox of his complex character can be resolved into understandable elements.

In February 1812 he made his first speech in the House of Lords, a humanitarian plea opposing harsh Tory measures against riotous Nottingham weavers. The handsome poet was swept into a liaison with the passionate and eccentric Lady Caroline Lamb, and the scandal of an elopement was barely prevented by his friend Hobhouse.

Lord Byron; The Life of George Noel Gordon – Facts & Information

He then carried on a flirtation with Lady Frances Webster as a diversion from this dangerous liaison. The agitations of these two love affairs and the sense of mingled guilt and exultation they aroused in Byron are reflected in the series of gloomy and remorseful Oriental verse tales he wrote at this time: From the start the marriage was doomed by the gulf between Byron and his unimaginative and humorless wife; and in January 1816 Annabella left Byron to live with her parents, amid swirling rumours centring on his relations with Augusta Leigh and his bisexuality.

The couple obtained a legal separation. Wounded by the general moral indignation directed at him, Byron went abroad in April 1816, never to return to England. Byron had begun an affair with Clairmont in England. It memorably evokes the historical associations of each place Harold visits, giving pictures of the Battle of Waterloo whose site Byron visitedof Napoleon and Jean-Jacques Rousseauand of the Swiss mountains and lakes, in verse that expresses both the most aspiring and most melancholy moods.

In October Byron and Hobhouse departed for Italy. In May he joined Hobhouse in Romegathering impressions that he recorded in a fourth canto of Childe Harold 1818.

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In the light, mock-heroic style of Beppo Byron found the form in which he would write his greatest poem, Don Juana satire in the form of a picaresque verse tale. The first two cantos of Don Juan were begun in 1818 and published in July 1819.

Byron transformed the legendary libertine Don Juan into an unsophisticated, innocent young man who, though he delightedly succumbs to the beautiful women who pursue him, remains a rational norm against which to view the absurdities and irrationalities of the world.

Upon being sent abroad by his mother from his native Sevilla SevilleJuan survives a shipwreck en route and is cast up on a Greek island, whence he is sold into slavery in Constantinople. Petersburgwhere he wins the favour of the empress Catherine the Great and is sent by her on a diplomatic mission to England.

His most consistent targets are, first, the hypocrisy and cant underlying various social and sexual conventions, the life and works of george gordon, second, the vain ambitions and pretenses of poets, lovers, generals, rulers, and humanity in general.

  1. The project held much personal appeal for the poet. By this time Byron was in search of new adventure.
  2. The marriage took place on 2 January 1815. Consequently, he alternated between deep-seated melancholy and humorous mockery in his reaction to the disparity between real life and his unattainable ideals.
  3. In Pisa Byron again became associated with Shelley, and in early summer of 1822 Byron went to Leghorn Livorno , where he rented a villa not far from the sea. Forsaking the name of Corsair, Lara returned to the feudal castle of his youth, followed by his page Kaled Gulnare in disguise.
  4. In obviously autobiographical poems Byron experiments with personae, compounded of his true self and of fictive elements, which both disclose and disguise him.

Don Juan remains unfinished; Byron completed 16 cantos and had begun the 17th before his own illness and death. In Don Juan he was able to free himself from the excessive melancholy of Childe Harold and reveal other sides of his character and personality—his satiric wit and his unique view of the comic rather than the tragic discrepancy between reality and appearance.

  • He arrived at Sheerness, Kent, on 14 July, two years and twelve days after his departure;
  • Ironically, 145 years after his death, in 1969, a memorial to Byron was finally placed on the floor of the Abbey;
  • The poem is the record of the contemporary quest for moral and intellectual certainty and positive self-assertion;
  • Dallas enthusiastically showed the poem to John Murray II, the respected publisher of Scott and Southey, who agreed to publish Byron, beginning a rich association between publisher and poet;
  • A man who outraged the laws of our Divine Lord, and whose treatment of women violated the Christian principles of purity and honor, should not be commemorated in Westminster Abbey;
  • Dallas enthusiastically showed the poem to John Murray II, the respected publisher of Scott and Southey, who agreed to publish Byron, beginning a rich association between publisher and poet.

Shelley and other visitors in 1818 found Byron grown fat, with hair long and turning gray, looking older than his years, and sunk in sexual promiscuity. But a chance meeting with Countess Teresa Gamba Guiccioli, who was only 19 years old and married to a man nearly three times her age, reenergized Byron and changed the course of his life. Byron followed her to Ravennaand she later accompanied him back to Venice. Byron returned to Ravenna in January 1820 as her cavalier servente gentleman-in-waiting and won the friendship of her father and brother, Counts Ruggero and Pietro Gamba, who initiated him into the secret society of the Carbonari and its revolutionary aims to free Italy from Austrian rule.

Byron arrived in Pisa in November 1821, having followed Teresa and the Counts Gamba there after the latter had been expelled from Ravenna for taking part in an abortive uprising. He left his daughter Allegra, who had been sent to him by her mother, to be educated in a convent near Ravenna, where she died the following April. In Pisa Byron again became associated with Shelley, and in early summer of 1822 Byron went to Leghorn Livornowhere he rented a villa not far from the sea.

Byron returned to Pisa and housed Hunt and his family in his villa. Despite the drowning of Shelley on July 8, the periodical went forward, and its first number contained The Vision of Judgment. By this time Byron was in search of new the life and works of george gordon. In April 1823 he agreed to act as agent of the London Committee, which had been formed to aid the Greeks in their struggle for independence from Turkish rule.

In July 1823 Byron left Genoa for Cephalonia. Byron made efforts to unite the various Greek factions and took personal command of a brigade of Souliot soldiers, reputedly the bravest of the Greeks. But a serious illness in February 1824 weakened him, and in April he contracted the fever from which he died at Missolonghi on April 19.

Deeply mourned, he became a symbol of disinterested patriotism and a Greek national hero. His body was brought back to England and, refused burial in Westminster Abbeywas placed in the family vault near Newstead.

  • There Byron fell in love with a married woman and almost fought a duel on her account;
  • Deeply mourned, he became a symbol of disinterested patriotism and a Greek national hero.

Ironically, 145 years after his death, a memorial to Byron was finally placed on the floor of the Abbey. Upon close examination, however, the paradox of his complex character can be resolved into understandable elements.

Consequently, he alternated between deep-seated melancholy and humorous mockery in his reaction to the disparity between real life and his unattainable ideals. The melancholy of Childe Harold and the satiric realism of Don Juan are thus two sides of the same coin: Byron was initially diverted from his satiric-realistic bent by the success of Childe Harold.

He followed this up with the Oriental tales, which reflected the gloomy moods of self-analysis and disenchantment of his years of fame. In Manfred and the third and fourth cantos of Childe Harold he projected the brooding remorse and despair that followed the debacle of his ambitions and love affairs in England. But gradually the relaxed and freer life in Italy opened up again the satiric vein, and he found his forte in the mock-heroic style of Italian verse satire.

The ottava rima form, which Byron used in Beppo and Don Juan, was easily adaptable to the digressive commentary, and its final couplet was ideally suited to the deflation of sentimental pretensions: Byron was a superb letter writer, conversational, witty, and relaxed, and the 20th-century publication of many previously unknown letters has further enhanced his literary reputation.

Whether dealing with love or poetry, he cuts through to the heart of the matter with admirable incisiveness, and his apt and amusing turns of phrase make even his business letters fascinating. Byron showed only that facet of his many-sided nature that was most congenial to each of his friends.

Selected Poems of Lord George Gordon Byron

To Hobhouse he was the facetious companion, humorous, cynicaland realistic, while to Edleston, and to most women, he could be tender, melancholy, and idealistic.

His chameleon-like character was engendered not by hypocrisy but by sympathy and adaptability, for the side he showed was a real if only partial revelation of his true self. And this mobility of character permitted him to savour and to record the mood and thought of the moment with a sensitivity denied to those tied to the conventions of consistency.