Date published/released: 

1966

Publication Information: 

Dodd, Mead & Co.

"A biographical novel written in third person with George Byron as the protagonist. It begins with Byron's life as a small child under the care of May Gray and his tempestuous, extremely fat mother. It ends with Byron's death in Greece, and the footnote even tells the reader of the autopsy performed on Byron's body, complete with the size of his brain, the degeneration of his liver and kidneys, and other pertinent information. Many of the episodes are particularly brief, and Byron's trip to the East with Hobhouse is completely excised. The author portrays Byron as a lover extraordinaire, providing every detail about his relationships with various women, while blithely denying any intimacy with men. Byron is known for his 'bamming,' which describes his ability to lie with distinction and exaggerate the truth beyond what might normally be believed. This "bamming" gets Byron into particular trouble, especially when Lady Melbourne assumes he speaks of Augusta when he actually refers to Frances Webster. Byron likes the thought of scandal so much he allows Lady Melbourne to believe it. However, the rumor mill works overtime, spearheaded by Caroline Lamb, and the incest charges become so extraordinary that even Lady Byron begins to believe them. She then, after the separation, begins to dismantle Augusta's defenses until even Augusta believes she did something wrong when nothing happened at all. The author represents Byron as childish and mischievous, often pouting as would a maligned infant. Byron longs for women to laugh with him, which prevents him from loving the far-too-serious Annabella." —G. Todd Davis