One was the mother who bore him; three were women who adored him; one was the sister he slept with; one was his abused and sodomized wife; one was his legitimate daughter; one was the fruit of his incest; another was his friend Shelley’s wife, who avoided his bed and invented science fiction instead. Nine women; one poet named George Gordon, Lord Byron – mad, bad and very very dangerous to know. The most flamboyant of the Romantics, he wrote literary bestsellers, he was a satirist of genius, he embodied the Romantic love of liberty (the Greeks revere him as a national hero), he was the prototype of the modern celebrity – and he treated women (and these women in particular) abominably.
In BYRON’S WOMEN, Alexander Larman tells their extraordinary, moving and often shocking stories. In so doing, he creates a scurrilous ‘anti-biography’ of one of England’s greatest poets, whose life is views – to deeply unflattering effect – through the prism of the nine damaged woman’s lives.
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