To delve into this legend may lead to madness . For the man we relate to is that legend and was mad himself. That man is Lord Byron the poet and romantic lover of both sexes.
For he was as beguiling to men as he was to cap throwing women . His appetite for both as insatiable as it was dangerous
Englands law would, if discovered, have hanged him. His world of romantic poems hit the news and made him a super star in public eyes.Women swooned at his feet and men could not take their eyes of him. In this fashion Byron lived. He even visited brothels in between lovers and became wanton in every thread of his being. His affair with his half sister was passionate and loving and after time Augusta talked her brother into finding love in a marriage to help him get over her.
He did not suffer pain from his foot which was not as historians say a club foot but the corpse was inspected having been preserved by Greeks and it was found that one foot although perfect, was indeed smaller than his other foot. As a child in a Glasgow slum ,his father a drunk had brought the family down and his wife had to scrub steps of tradesmen to feed her son. A kind doctor paid for the boys shoe to be blocked and so allowed Byron a modicum of comfort in walking. He saw the boy as a clever thinker and so paid to send Byron to school. It was then that his father died of drink and his grandfather in England soon after of age passed on. .This made young Byron a Lord by title and inheritor of Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. He was entered into Cambridge university and soon after wrote his first published poem. Then came the Pilgrimage of Childe Harold. A book about a man who traveled Italy and was in fact Byrons persona.
His affair with Lady Caroline Lamb was torrid and one sided as she adored him and wanted only to have him. Byron soon tired of this and so she wrote,: ” Byron is mad, bad and dangerous to know. ” Probably only she saw him that way at the time for Byron was a mixed up man haunted by his past. He did not understand why he felt so half man and half female. His life became outrageous and public that he was forced to sell Newstead Abbey. Living above his means and so many creditors after him he fled to Switzerland and soon met Shelley the poet. The two men hit it off and wrote some amazing stuff from rebounding ideas. We know that Shelly had left his wife and was with a servant called Mary.
Did Byron give his idea to her who had just learned to write and had penned Doctor Frankenstein from nothing? I just can say but more than likely he helped her with it.
Shelley drank too much on a warm night and went swimming .Byron found him dead on the beach drowned at sea. He broke all laws of England ,but abroad not as he decided to give Shelley a Vikings burial and burned him on the beach in a big fire that burned bright as Shelly mind.
He left then to fight for the cause of Greece against the Turks. Although Byron was against violence and supported many lost causes and peoples this war was uppermost in his mind. He was 36 and miserable having left his wife and child and the loss of Shelley may have triggered this move.
He was in fact running guns to the Greeks in his ship. He spied for them against the Turks and then fell down with sea fever or something like it. After days of it he died .The Greeks had lost a great friend and they knew it. They embalmed the body well and sent Byron home to England in his ship maned by Greeks.
Lady Caroline Lamb was back with her husband saw the coffin pass her door had no idea it was her ex lover Byron until later the news hit her.
Byron was taken to the family tomb in Hucknal Torkard church of Saint Mary Magdalene ,near Newstead Abbey. There he lay in his black coffin .Until in the 1960s it was seen that his coffin had crushed his mothers coffin it was sat upon . Work began and the coffins repaired set on shelves and before the tomb was resealed Byrons coffin was opened to see his body in tact as if he was sleeping. It was here that measurements had to be taken to find what was wrong with Byrons foot. Both feet looked the same but it was found some 3 inches smaller was one foot than the other. It was amazing just how beautiful Lord Byron looked even over 200 years dead thanks to Greek knowledge of preserving him forever.
I have spoken to some who went to see Byrons body as invited by the officers of council and the church . The facts as told I relate as fact.
So the legend of this great poet lives on in his work but the man himself was a very disturbed lost soul .A womaniser a homosexual now called bi sexual who became a gun runner and a writer after breaking the hearts of many and leaving this earth a young man at 36. He was bordering on madness which medical proof says it ran deep in his family.
Having spent much time in my youth studying Lord Byron I found him too hot to handle and left him well alone. His poetry excellent but in his words are hidden thoughts to shock the reader. Then in my travels I found myself at his tomb. There for all to see but locked and bared. A picture gallery lines the church walls for our edification and reward which shows us the coffins and the crypt as it is for all time repaired .What it does not show is Byrons remains. For that a trace of who was there and soon had my friend in 1982 show me his picture taken of Byrons face. It is as it was hair and features as if he lived shocked me as to traveling back in time to being in his company I found unreal.
So we go no more a roaming so late into the night . Is a parting poem sent to his half sister Augusta Byron as the end of their love affair . Byron perhaps never got over her.
A few weeks after Bryons burial his so called friends had been sent from Greece Byrons own history in his view of himself. Which would have been good to read as fact not legend the deed of burning the manuscript caused to be the case. They read it and all came to agree it was so bad in deed that it would ruin Byron reputation as a man ,Then he was dead and in fact history has been robbed not only of Byrons image of himself but historic fact. As bad as he may have seen his life we would have needed to see it. Idiots who wanted to protect the image of a man all knew was guilty of many things . What then became of Byron was left to tall tellers and the legend was born. But then Byron was a man who would speak up for many good causes like the poor laws and Catholics being bashed. He spoke up against violence and heavy drinking. He was a man of the peoples too.
He was all these things and perhaps more but only scandal is his legacy .I see him as a tortured lost soul who burned brighter than the stars but the candle expired as he just knew it would In Greece the weeks leading up to his death he knew of it. He spoke of it too.
That poem for you now.
So we go no more a roving So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving, And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath, And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breath,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving. And the day returns too soon,
Yet we,ll go no more a roving.
By the light of the moon.
Make of it what one will. For Lord Byron knew its meaning so too his Augusta that half sister that understood him well . Mad, or bordering on it, I think was his problem all thought his adult life. Then his mighty talent should be his legacy to to us not his life of woe. The last breath he took ensured that no one will forget him.
Thank you for your reading into my historic facts.
Yours always Sir Kevin.
Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2019.