Byron's Women

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One was the mother who bore him; three were women who adored him; one was the sister he slept with; one was his abused and sodomized wife; one was his legitimate daughter; one was the fruit of his incest; and another was his friend Shelley's wife, who avoided his bed and invented science fiction instead. Nine women and one poet named George Gordon, Lord Byron—mad, bad, and very very dangerous to know. The most flamboyant of the Romantics, he wrote literary bestsellers, he was a satirist of genius, he embodied the Romantic love of liberty (the Greeks revere him as a national hero), he was the prototype of the modern celebrity—and he treated women (and these women in particular) abominably. Here, Alex Larman tells their extraordinary, moving, and often shocking stories. In so doing, he creates a scurrilous "anti-biography" of one of England's greatest poets, whose life he views—to deeply unflattering effect—through the prism of the nine damaged woman's lives.


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