Glossary entry for
George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824), who grew up in Scotland until inheriting
his title at age ten, became one of the great poets of the English Romantic era.
His poems reflect many of the personal events of his life. His first trip abroad
(through the Mediterranean) in 1809 inspired the melancholy long poem Childe
Harold's Pilgrimage, by which he was best known in the ninteenth century. In
1813 and 1814 he seems to have had an affair with his half-sister Augusta Leigh.
His marriage in 1815 was extremely unhappy, and the next time he left England, in
1816, he never went back. He lived in Switzerland and Italy, and finally died of
illness in 1824 at Missolonghi, Greece, where he had gone to fight for Greek
independence from Turkey. The major work of his last years was the long humorous
epic poem Don Juan.
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