Don Juan and the year of revolt

The Peterloo Massacre

It is aston­ish­ing to us, now, that the amus­ing, clever, most­­ly-light-heart­ed tales in Can­tos I and II of Don Juan were con­demned by the Eng­lish estab­lish­ment for blas­phe­my, deprav­i­ty and incit­ing mis­be­hav­iour (among the low­er…

Rhyming Rowland’s Macassar

Byron includes once piece of “prod­uct place­ment” in Can­to 1 of Don Juan; a mock­ing encomi­um to Rowland’s “Incom­pa­ra­ble” Macas­sar oil whose supe­ri­or qual­i­ties alone could match those of Don­na Inez. “In virtues noth­ing earth­ly…

Dangerous

Although a prodi­gy, sex­u­al­ly promis­cu­ous, and pugna­cious, Byron was a poet­ic genius who worked his gifts and him­self hard. Before his ear­ly death, at age 36, he had con­quered peaks of lit­er­a­ture and renown that…

Mad

Was Gor­don, Lord Byron, mad? At one point, as their brief mar­riage came to an end, Byron’s wife Annabelle Mill­banke (or her moth­er) sought the opin­ion of his doc­tor whether the tem­pes­tu­ous poet was insane.…

Bad

Byron iron­i­cal­ly choos­es a hero for his epic poem whose rep­u­ta­tion matched his own scan­dalous celebri­ty: Don Juan, the jaun­ty, titled, sex­u­al preda­tor of pan­tomime who, after a thou­sand amours and intrigues, was dragged down…