Friday, 22 January 2010

On this day...

British poet George Gordon Byron, more commonly known just as Lord Byron, was born in 1788. A highly controversial character, Byron, it seems was born in to a family of similar ilk. Son of 'Mad Jack', and great-nephew of 'the Wicked Lord', Byron inherited his peerage at the age of ten, and even before then rumours about the nature of his character were surfacing. Accused by many of being bisexual, Byron had many relationships with men and women alike; yet the strigent sodomy laws in Britain at the time neccessitated his travelling abroad for many years to find the freedom he wanted. Due to the Napoleonic Wars, Byron avoided Europe and so travelled to the East and spent time in both Albania and Athens. Following several scandalous affairs, notably with Lady Caroline Lamb, and a marriage marred by rumours of incest, he left for Italy, where he famously met Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary. The subsequent years of his life were of great cultural interest, first contributing to the Armenian language by means of a dictionary, and then to the Greek independence by refitting the Greek fleet with his own money and fighting. A leading Romantic, Byron wrote prolifically, his most famous works including, 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' and 'Don Juan'. The man labelled 'mad, bad and dangerous to know', died in 1824, at the age of 36.

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