Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Writer #13: Lord Byron
George Gordon Byron, was the son of Captain John Byron, and Catherine Gordon. He was born in 1788.
In 1807 Byron's first collection of poetry, Hours Of Idleness appeared. Next year he took his seat in the House of Lords, and set out on his grand tour. Real poetic success came in 1812 when Byron published the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-1818) and he became an adored character of London society. Byron's The Corsair (1814), sold 10,000 copies on the first day of publication. He married Anne Isabella Milbanke in 1815, and their daughter Ada was born in the same year. The marriage was unhappy, and they obtained legal separation next year.
When the rumors started to rise of his incest and debts were accumulating, Byron left England in 1816, never to return. After a long creative period, Byron had come to feel that action was more important than poetry. He armed a brig, the Hercules, and sailed to Greece to aid the Greeks, who had risen against their Ottoman overlords. However, before he saw any serious military action, Byron contracted a fever from which he died in Missolonghi on 19 April 1824. Byron's coffin was placed in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard, near Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire.