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Biography George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the short lyric She Walks in Beauty. Byron is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and remains widely read and influential.
Early life George Gordon Byron was the son of Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron and his second wife, the former Catherine Gordon, a descendant of Cardinal Beaton and heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire , Scotland.Byron's father had previously seduced the married Marchioness of Caermarthen and, after she divorced her husband, he married her. His treatment of her was described as "brutal and vicious", and she died after having given birth to two daughters, only one of whom survived: Byron's half-sister, Augusta . In order to claim his second wife's estate in Scotland, Byron's father took the additional surname "Gordon", becoming "John Byron Gordon", and he was occasionally styled "John Byron Gordon of Gight ". Byron himself used this surname for a time and was registered at school in Aberdeen as "George Byron Gordon". At the age of 10, he inherited the English Barony of Byron of Rochdale , becoming "Lord Byron", and eventually dropped the double surname. Mother
Byron's paternal grandparents were Vice-Admiral the Hon. John " Foulweather Jack" Byron, and Sophia Trevanion . Vice Admiral John Byron had circumnavigated the globe, and was the younger brother of the 5th Baron Byron, known as "the Wicked Lord". He was christened, at St Marylebone Parish Church Byron received his early formal education at Aberdeen Grammar School, and in August 1799 entered the school of Dr. William Glennie , in Dulwich .Placed under the care of a Dr. Bailey, he was encouraged to exercise in moderation but could not restrain himself from "violent" bouts in an attempt to overcompensate for his deformed foot. His mother interfered with his studies, often withdrawing him from school, with the result that he lacked discipline and his classical studies were neglected. School of Dr. WilliamGlennie
In 1801 he was sent to Harrow, where he remained until July 1805. An undistinguished student and an unskilled cricketer, he did represent the school during the very first Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord's in 1805. His lack of moderation was not just restricted to physical exercise. Byron fell in love with Mary Chaworth , whom he met while at school , and she was the reason he refused to return to Harrow in September 1803. His mother wrote, “He has no indisposition that I know of but love, desperate love, the worst of all maladies in my opinion”. MaryChaworth
Early career While not at school or college, Byron lived with his mother in Southwell , Nottinghamshire, in some antagonism. While there, he cultivated friendships with Elizabeth Pigot and her brother, John, with whom he staged two plays for the entertainment of the community. During this time, with the help of Elizabeth Pigot, who copied many of his rough drafts, he was encouraged to write his first volumes of poetry. Fugitive Pieces was printed by Ridge of Newark, which contained poems written when Byron was only 14. However, it was promptly recalled and burned on the advice of his friend, the Reverend J. T. Becher, on account of its more amorous verses, particularly the poem To Mary. ElizabethPigot
Byron’s travel Italy In 1816, Byron visited San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture with the help of the abbots belonging to the Mechitarist Order. With the help of Father H. Avgerian , he learned the Armenian language, and attended many seminars about language and history. He co-authored English Grammar and Armenian in 1817, and Armenian Grammar and English in 1819, where he included quotations from classical and modern Armenian. "Byron's Grotto" in PortoVenere,Italy, named in hishonour, because he meditated here and drew inspiration from this place for his literary works.
Greece Byron was living in Genoa when, in 1823, while growing bored with his life there, he accepted overtures for his support from representatives of the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. With the assistance of his banker and Captain Daniel Roberts, Byron chartered the Brig Hercules to take him to Greece. On 16 July, Byron left Genoa arriving at Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands on 4 August. His voyage is covered in detail in Sailing with Byron from Genoa to Cephalonia. Byron historian Donald Prell, wrote of a coincidence in Byron's chartering the Hercules. The vessel was launched only a few miles south of Seaham Hall, where in 1815 Byron married Annabella Milbanke. Between 1815 and 1823 the vessel was in service between England and Canada. Suddenly in 1823, the ship's Captain decided to sail to Genoa and offer the Hercules for charter.
Sea and swimming He enjoyed adventure, especially relating to the sea. The first recorded notable example of open water swimming took place on 3 May 1810 when Lord Byron swam from Europe to Asia across the Hellespont Strait. This is often seen as the birth of the sport and pastime, and to commemorate it, the event is recreated every year as an open water swimming event.
Political career Byron first took his seat in the House of Lords 13 March 1809,but left London on 11 June 1809 for the Continent. A strong advocate of social reform, he received particular praise as one of the few Parliamentary defenders of the Luddites: specifically, he was against a death penalty for Luddite "frame breakers" in Nottinghamshire, who destroyed textile machines that were putting them out of work. His first speech before the Lords was loaded with sarcastic references to the "benefits" of automation, which he saw as producing inferior material as well as putting people out of work. He said later that he "spoke very violent sentences with a sort of modest impudence", and thought he came across as "a bit theatrical ". The full text of the speech, which he had previously written out, was presented to Dallas in manuscript form and he quotes it in his work. In another Parliamentary speech he expressed opposition to the established religion because it was unfair to people of other faiths .These experiences inspired Byron to write political poems such as Song for the Luddites (1816) and The Landlords' Interest, Canto XIV of The Age of Bronze . Examples of poems in which he attacked his political opponents include Wellington: The Best of the Cut-Throats (1819); and The Intellectual Eunuch Castlereagh (1818).
Bibliography Major works: Hours of Idleness (1807) English Bards and Scotch Reviewers(1809) Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cantos I & II (1812) The Giaour (1813) The Bride of Abydos (1813) The Corsair (1814) Lara, A Tale (1814) Hebrew Melodies(1815) The Siege of Corinth (1816) Parisina (1816) The Prisoner of Chillon(1816) The Dream (1816) Prometheus (1816) Darkness (1816) Manfred (1817) The Lament of Tasso (1817) Selected shorter lyric poems: Maid of Athens, ere we part(1810) And thou art dead (1812) She Walks in Beauty(1814) My Soul is Dark(1815) The Destruction ofSennacherib (1815) Monody on the Death of the Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan (1816) Fare Thee Well (1816) So, we'll go no more a roving (1817) When We Two Parted (1817) Ode on Venice (1819) Beppo(1818) Childe Harold's Pilgrimage(1818) Don Juan(1819–1824; incomplete on Byron's death in 1824) Mazeppa(1819) The Prophecy of Dante (1819) The Deformed Transformed(1824)
Death (1824) Mavrokordatos and Byron planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. Byron employed a fire-master to prepare artillery and took part of the rebel army under his own command, despite his lack of military experience. Before the expedition could sail, on 15 February 1824, he fell ill, and the usual remedy of bloodletting weakened him further. He made a partial recovery, but in early April he caught a violent cold which therapeutic bleeding, insisted on by his doctors, aggravated. It is suspected this treatment, carried out with unsterilised medical instrumentation, may have caused him to develop sepsis. He developed a violent fever, and died on 19 April. His physician at the time, Julius van Millingen , son of Dutch-English archaeologist James Millingen , was unable to prevent his death. It has been said that if Byron had lived and had gone on to defeat the Ottomans, he might have been declared King of Greece. However, contemporary scholars have found such an outcome unlikely.
Darkness “Darkness” is the poem written by Lord Byron in July 1816.That year was known as the Year Without a Summer , because Mount Tambora had erupted in the Dutch East Indies the previous year casting enough ash into the atmosphere .To block out the sun and cause abnormal weather across much of north east America and northern Europe. This pall of darkness inspired Byron to write his poem . Literary critics were initially content to classify it as a “lost man poem”, telling the apocalyptic story of the last man on earth. More recent critics have focused on the poem’s historical context, as well as the anti-biblical nature of the poem, despite its many references to the Bible. The poem was written only months after the end of Byron’s marriage to Anne Isabella Milbanke.
Darkness BY LORD BYRON I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live bywatchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities wereconsum'd, And men weregather'dround their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Of thevolcanos, and their mountain-torch: A fearful hope was all the worldcontain'd; Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks Extinguish'dwith a crash—and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The flashes fell upon them; some lay down And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Their chins upon their clenched hands, andsmil'd; And others hurried to and fro, and fed Their funeral piles with fuel, andlook'dup With mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again With curses cast them down upon the dust, Andgnash'dtheir teeth andhowl'd: the wild birdsshriek'd And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and viperscrawl'd Andtwin'dthemselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. And War, which for a moment was no more, Did glut himself again. The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, And nothingstirr'dwithin their silent depths; Shipssailorlesslay rotting on the sea, And their masts fell down piecemeal: as theydropp'd They slept on the abyss without a surge— The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, The moon, their mistress, hadexpir'dbefore; The winds werewither'din the stagnant air, And the cloudsperish'd; Darkness had no need Of aid from them—She was the Universe. G.G.Byron
Тьма Я видел сон... Не все в нем было сном. Погасло солнце светлое, и звезды Скиталисябез цели, без лучей В пространстве вечном; льдистая земля Носилась слепо в воздухе безлунном. Час утра наставал и проходил, Но дня не приводил он за собою... И люди - в ужасе беды великой Забыли страсти прежние... Сердца В одну себялюбивую молитву О свете робко сжались - и застыли. Перед огнями жил народ; престолы, Дворцы царей венчанных, шалаши, Жилища всех имеющих жилища – В костры слагались... города горели... И людисобиралисятолпами Вокруг домов пылающих - затем, Чтобы хоть раз взглянуть в глаза друг другу. Счастливы были жители тех стран, Где факелы вулканов пламенели... Весь мир одной надеждой робкой жил... Зажгли леса; но с каждым часом гас И падал обгорелый лес; деревья Внезапно с грозным треском обрушались... И лица - при неровном трепетанье Последних замирающих огней Казались неземными... Кто лежал, Закрыв глаза, да плакал; кто сидел, Руками подпираясь, улыбался; Другие хлопотливо суетились Вокруг костров - и в ужасе безумном Глядели смутно на глухое небо, Земли погибшей саван... а потом С проклятьями бросались в прах и выли, Зубами скрежетали. Птицы с криком Носились низко над землей, махали Ненужными крылами... Даже звери Сбегались робкими стадами... Змеи Ползли, вились среди толпы, шипели, Безвредные... Их убивали люди На пищу... Снова вспыхнула война, Погасшая на время… Озера, реки и море - все затихло. Ничего Не шевелилось в бездне молчаливой. Безлюдные лежали корабли И гнили на недвижной, сонной влаге... Без шуму, по частям валились мачты И, падая, волны не возмущали... Моря давно не ведали приливов... Погибла их владычица - луна; Завяли ветры в воздухе немом... Исчезли тучи... Тьме не нужно было Их помощи... она была повсюду... Диодати,июль1816г. ПереводИ.Тургенева. Впервые опубликовано в сборнике «Шильонскийузник»,Лондон, Меррей,1816г.
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