Some Facts about Byron in No Particular Order

We talked in class about his alleged sexual relationship with his half-sister that ended his marriage (his denial of this was not convincing). He kept a bear as a pet while at Cambridge and he would walk it on a leash like a dog. He ultimately died while he was waiting to fight for the Greeks in their independence war against the Ottomans. He was born with a club foot. At one point during his youth he weighed around 200 pounds, which was very heavy at the time particularly at his height of 5’9, and this triggered what we could call today a binge-eating disorder. Lots of evidence has been found of relationships with men and women. Apparently, by the age of 21, he had both gonorrhea and syphilis. Byron joined the House of Lords and was seen as radical politically, with one letter published against him using his club-foot as evidence that Byron was influenced by the devil. According to some letters that are now in the British Museum’s collection written to his publisher, Byron called John Keats “Jack Keats or Ketch,” a clear dismissal, and called his writing “mental masturbation.” The boat that Shelley died aboard was called the Don Juan in tribute to Lord Byron; they were very good friends and respected each other’s works a lot.

One thought on “Some Facts about Byron in No Particular Order”

  1. Everything I learn about Byron makes me less and less able to picture him. He seems to have lived such a wild life! I think the fact that he walked a bear on a leash is what gets me the most! I wonder if he domesticated it! I think we see his insecurities in his writing, especially in “Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos” when he calls himself a “degenerate modern wretch,” (9).

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