Lord Byron Fact File: Lifespan: 1788 - 1824*** Full Name: Lord George Gordon Byron *** Nickname: The Limping Devil *** Occupation: English Poet *** Date of Birth: Lord Byron was born on January 22nd 1788 *** Place of Birth: Lord Byron was born in London, England *** Family background: His father was Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron and his mother Catherine Gordon a wealthy heiress of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. His father first wife, died in childbirth having twins of which only one survived, his half-sister Augusta. In order to inherit his second wife’s estate, Captain Byron had to adopt his wife’s name of Gordon and George himself used the name while registered in school in Aberdeen *** Early life and childhood: He grew up Aberdeen *** Education: Lord Byron began his education at Aberdeen Grammar School and later attended Harrow before going on to attend Trinity College, Cambridge ***
Lord Byron Fact 1: Lord Byron was born on January 22nd 1788 and during the 18th century period in history when France was in the gripe of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror of Maximilien Robespierre.
Lord Byron Fact 2: His father married his mother to gain access to her fortune, which he not only did but within a few short years had squandered it all on debts. The pair were living in France but Catherine was determined to give birth to her child on English soil and so the couple returned to England where George Gordon Byron was born in London.
Lord Byron Fact 3: With her infant son, Catherine moved back to Aberdeenshire and proceeded to raise her son there with the occasional appearance of her husband to borrow ever more money.
Lord Byron Fact 4: The borrowed funds enable him to travel to France when in 1791 he died.
Lord Byron Fact 5: When George was ten years old he would inherit the English Barony of Byron of Rockdale from his “wicked” great uncle, thus becoming the 6th Baron Byron of Rockdale and inheriting the ancestral home in Nottinghamshire, Newstead Abbey.
Lord Byron Fact 6: When not attending to his education he was living with his mother, who at the time was living in Nottinghamshire, and on one such visit home he made the acquaintance of Elizabeth and John Pigot, brother and sister. It was with Elizabeth’s assistance that he began to write his earliest volumes of poetry. The tomb was eventually burned as the material was from his early teens and deemed rather inappropriate.
Lord Byron Fact 7: Between 1809 and 1811 he went on the Grand Tour, a journey all young men of his era made. Unfortunately for him, the Napoleonic Wars made certain parts of Europe inaccessible, so he travelled the Mediterranean instead.
Lord Byron Fact 8: Having left England he travelled over Portugal, Spain and on to the Mediterranean and then to Albania were he stayed with Ali Pasha of Ioannina accompanied by John Cam Hobhouse.
Lord Byron Fact 9: He made his return to England in 1811 and threw himself into the bedazzling world of London at the height of the Regency period.
Lord Byron Fact 10: Always working he produced some of his best poetry during this time spent in England.
Lord Byron Fact 11: In the year 1813 he came into contact with his half-sister Augusta, for the first time in four years. There were unconfirmed rumors abounding at the time that her daughter Medora, born the following year, was Byron's progeny.
Lord Byron Fact 12: With mounting debt he turned his attention to marriage and a suitable candidate came in the form of Annabella Millbanke. They were married on January 5th 1815 and their daughter Ada was born in December of 1815.
Lord Byron Fact 13: Unfortunately the marriage did not last long, and Annabella took their daughter and left him, having enough of his philandering ways.
Lord Byron Fact 14: By this time the scandal was more than Byron could deal with, and he too left England in April of 1816.
Lord Byron Fact 15: From England he travelled through Belgium and on up the Rhine, and by the summer of 1816 he had settled in Switzerland, Geneva and the Villa Diodati.
Lord Byron Fact 16: Here he made friends with another poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his soon to be wife Mary Godwin and remade the acquaintance of Claire Clairmont who he had met in London previously and who also happened to be Mary’s stepsister. It was during the very wet summer that Mary Shelley created what would come to be known as one of the all-time classic tales of Frankenstein, and so began the ancestor of the romantic vampire genre.
Lord Byron Fact 17: In the year 1817 he travelled to Rome and at this time he sold his ancestral home Newstead.
Lord Byron Fact 18: Shelley wrote of Byron “Lord Byron gets up at two. I get up, contrary to my usual custom … at 12. After breakfast we sit talking till six. From six to eight we gallop through the pine forest which divide Ravenna from the sea; we then come home and dine, and sit gossiping till six in the morning. I don’t suppose this will kill me in a week or fortnight, but I shall not try it much longer. Lord B’s establishment consists, besides servants, of ten horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow, and a falcon; and all these, except the horses, walk about the house, which every now and then resounds with their un-arbitrated quarrels, as if they were the masters of it …[P.S.] I find that my enumeration of the animals in this Circean Palace was defective … I have just met on the grand staircase five peacocks, two guinea hens, and an Egyptian crane. I wonder who all these animals were before they were changed into these shapes.”.
Lord Byron Fact 19: During 1823 having grown bored with his life he decided to move on, and Greece was his next destination and he was invited to assist in the movement for Greek independence away from the Ottoman Empire. Regardless of the fact he had entirely no military experience.
Lord Byron Fact 20: Having made all his preparations he fell ill prior to the beginning of the expedition in February of 1824. Partially recovered he began to suffer a violent cold and doctors insisted on a bloodletting, which was still a popular form of treatment at the time. It is thought however, that unclean equipment may have been used and developing a virulent fever, Lord George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron died on April 19th 1824 of suspected sepsis.
Influence and Legacy: His legacy was the wealth of written material, poetry that he left the world.
List of Famous Works by Lord Byron: *** Hours of Idleness *** English Bards and Scottish Reviewers *** The Giaour *** The Bridge of Abydos *** Parisina *** The Dream *** Prometheus *** Manfred *** Don Juan *** The Prophecy of Dante *** Marino Faliero *** Cain *** Heaven and Earth *** The Island *** The Deformed Transformed ***
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