George Gordon Byron (1788 – 1824) known as “Lord Byron” was the 6th Baron Byron. He is considered one of Britain’s greatest, if most notorious, poets. He was famous for his poems “Don Juan” and “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.” He also wrote the “She Walks in Beauty.” Lord Byron’s childhood was difficult. He suffered from a “club foot,” perhaps as a result of polio, that kept him from making friends or participating in some activities, though he did box in later life. He called himself “the limping devil.” His father committed suicide leaving him heir to an uncle’s barony. His heiress mother, bankrupted and abused by his alcoholic father, barely provided for his needs until sliding into alcoholism herself before her death in 1811.
Lord Byron was a Regency bad boy. He embarked on a series of affairs with married women, was rumored to have had an incestuous relationship and a child with his half-sister, and suspected of homosexuality which was a capital offense at the time. Lady Caroline Lamb, one his cast-off mistresses who pursued him to the point of embarrassing her family said Byron was “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” In Byron’s activities forced him to seek exile in Europe where he continued his profligate lifestyle, notably with his friend, the poet Percy Shelley. Eventually, Byron fought in the Greek War of Independence where he succumbed to a fever.
Tomorrow, Byron’s Risque Vacation. Rita Bay