Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 ‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know !’

  Continuing my articles on Nottinghamshire Characters I present Lord Byron, Writer, Poet and Libertine, Also the man who probably introduced the Vampyre not a mis – spelling, his version. Byron was the ideal of the Romantic Poet, notorious for his scandalous private life and described by his contempories as Mad, bad and dangerous to know!

George Gordon Noel, the sixth Baron Byron was born on 22nd January 1788 in London. His father died when he was Three years old, with the result that he inherited the title from his Great Uncle in 1798.

Byron spent his early years in Aberdeen, and was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University. In 1809 he left for a two year tour of the Mediterranean. He returned in 1811, and in 1812 the first two cantos of Childe Harold were Published. Byron became an overnight success.

In 1814, Byron’s half sister, Augusta gave birth to a daughter, almost certainly Byron’s. The following year Byron married Annabella Milbanke, with whom he had a daughter, his only legitimate child. The couple separated in 1816.

Under mounting pressure because of his failed marriage, scandalous affairs and huge debts. Byron left England in 1816 and never returned alive. He spent the summer of 1816 at Lake Geneva with the Poet, Shelley, his wife Mary, and Mary’s half sister Claire Clairmont, with whom Byron had a daughter.

Byron travelled on to Italy where he lived for more than six years. In 1819, whilst in Venice, he began an affair with Teresa Guiccioli, the wife of an Italian Nobleman. It was during his sojourn in Italy that Byron wrote some of his most famous work, including Don Juan ( 1819 – 1824 )

In July 1923, Byron left Italy to join the Greek Insurgents who were fighting for Independence from the Ottoman Empire.On 19th April 1824 he died of a fever at Missolonghi, His body was bought back to England and buried at his Ancestral home, Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. He went to Greece to fight and possibly die a Hero’s death, but unfortunately in that he was cheated!



9 thoughts on “

  1. Yes, it was a member of that Lake Geneva group Dr. John Polidori who wrote the short story The Vampyre (published in 1819) where the vampiric lead character in the story Lord Ruthven was modeled on Lord Byron.

    While most of Byron’s body was buried in Nottinghamshire, his heart was buried in Greece.

    After Lord Elgin took many of the pristine marble from the Parthenon back to Britain where it’s now displayed in the British Museum, there is a saying among the Greeks, “Britain may have the Elgin Marble but we have Byron’s heart.”


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