Byron, more than any other poet, has come to personify the poet as rebel; imaginative and lawless, reaching beyond race, creed or frontier, his notorious flaws redeemed by a magnetism and ultimately a heroism that by ending in tragedy raised it and him from the particular to the universal.
Everything about Lord George Gordon Byron was a paradox - insider and outsider, beautiful and deformed, serious and facetious, profligate but on occasion miserly and possessed of a fierce intelligence trapped forever in a child's magic and malices. He was also a great poet, but as he reminded us, poetry is a distinct faculty and has little to do with the individual life of its creator.
Edna O'Brien's exemplary biography focuses upon the diverse and colourful women in Byron's life.
"O'Brien charts the many loves of the notorious 19th-century poet's reckless life in immediate and candid prose." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Edna O'Brien has always had a gift for writing about affairs of the heart." (Guardian)
"There is much to enjoy in this idiosyncratic and highly readable account of the poet whose writing enthralled and whose actions appalled in equal measure." (Independent)