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Byron: Life and Legend Hardcover – 7 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; 1st Edition edition (7 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071955621X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719556210
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

A magisterial account of Byron's life as a poet, public figure and serial shagger, this 674- page biography is both scholarly and readable . . . MacCarthy also pays due attention to the poetry, and charts his posthumous influence on figures as diverse as Disraeli, Oscar Wilde and W H Auden (Irish Independent)

Fiona McCarthy deserves huge credit for uncovering so much new and illuminating information. This impressive biography was originally published in 2002 and has now been updated after MacCarthy undertook new research . . . entertaining and easy-to-read (Irish Examiner)

Book Description

This biography (by Byron's own publisher John Murray) reinterprets Byron's life and poetry. MacCarthy casts a fresh eye on Byron's childhood in Scotland, his embattled relations with his mother and his series of relationships with adolescent boys - a subject ignored in previous biographies.

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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Emile Lucien on 20 Aug. 2003
Fiona MacCarthy's biography of Byron is a masterpiece of detail, insight and scholarship of a high order. It has already been acclaimed by the best critics as more than equal to her other fine biographies of Eric Gill and William Morris, and is a worthy successor to Lesley Marchand's definitive three-volume study, also published by John Murray. MacCarthy not only had the advantage of access to new material from the Murray archive, but her 're-assessment' of Byron's personal life benefited from being able to write without the severe restrictions and discretion placed upon earlier biographers, Marchand included. As a result, the inner conflicts and turmoil of Byron's life and loves emerge with a clarity and poignancy denied to earlier interpretations.

The life unfolds chronologically, the chapter headings specifying the countries and places representing the periods of Byron's life associated with them: Cambridge 1805-7, London and Brighton 1808-9, Greece and Constantinople 1809-10, and so on. The author's intellectual grasp and unstinting devotion to verifiable fact, all this no doubt enhanced by her five-year 'pilgrimage' through the countries of Europe visited by Byron, lends authority and an authentic flavour to the style and language. The many references to correspondence, together with quotations from the poetry, are made with due regard to their relevance to particular places, people and events, the writer's occasional interpretative comment being well justified by her soundly-based acquaintance, and indeed intimacy, with the scope of her subject.

Such considered commentary, always unobtrusive, is necessary as much to the craftmanship and thematic working of the book as a whole, as it is to achieving a natural coherence and fluency in the language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Mansfield on 19 May 2012
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I really enjoyed this book! what an adventurous & poetic life. Having been a fan of poetry for many years I found it hard to identify with Byrons poetry, until I read this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Biff TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2015
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A large book that was very well written and researched and provided a fascinating and detailed look at Byron, his life and the world he lived in.

A scholarly piece of work that is easy to read.

Leaves no stone unturned.

If you have an interest in Byron, this is the book for you, although not every one will agree with the authors views on hie personal life.
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