England in 1819–20

A sec­tion of the pref­ace to my Anno­tat­ed Can­tos I & II (with audio nar­ra­tion) planned for the bi-cen­te­­nary of Don Juan in 2019. The first two can­tos of Don Juan were pub­lished in July,…

Matthew Arnold on Byron

Anoth­er sec­tion of the pref­ace to my Anno­tat­ed Can­tos I & II (with audio nar­ra­tion) planned for the bi-cen­te­nary of Don Juan in 2019 The pop­u­lar­i­ty of Byron’s poet­ry even today owes much to an…

The Comet and the Bomb

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed as a draft of an intro­duc­tion to the “Bicen­ten­ni­al” edi­tion of Can­tos I & II that I have now post­ed. I decid­ed not to use it there but I want…

Don Juan Cantos Annotated

Blessings-of-Peace:Cruikshank-cartoon

TL;DR An up-dat­ed draft of my “Anno­tat­ed Don Juan” is avail­able. It now pro­vides notes and illus­tra­tions for Can­tos I, III and IX. Get it here and read along with the nar­ra­tion. At the end…

Why I like Don Juan

Literature

Just now there’s a lot of inter­est in the­o­ries of behav­iour as ‘sig­nalling’. For exam­ple, edu­ca­tion choic­es and cur­ric­u­la are said to be “about” sig­nalling wealth or con­for­mi­ty with cor­po­rate ethics rather than about get­ting…

The First Line of Don Juan

Byron cheek­i­ly begins his great­est poem in pre­cise­ly the wrong way for an “epic”: ”I want a hero!…” Noth­ing could be more absurd than an Epic with­out a hero. The essence of an Epic is…