46 Comments

"As best I can understand, this was Byron’s pathological need to be the manliest and most elaborately scandalous person in any room."

I glossed over Byron when I read this and thought "Hemingway" instead.

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I read that and thought - my teen self. Only closeted. It was all going on in my head.

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I believe it was Keats who called Wordsworth “Wordswords,” which was almost as clever and more apt.

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God I love every one of your posts!

‘Now. If you know anything about 19th century British history, it’s that English people cannot be fucking trusted in the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Turn your back on them for 45 minutes and they start eating mummies and stealing marbles.’

😭😂

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To be fair to the English, it was a Scotsman who nicked the marbles.

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author

this is true AND I have no desire to be fair to the English

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Apr 3Liked by Allison Epstein

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how Wikipedia pages should be written.

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Justice for Claire Clairmont!!

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Apr 2Liked by Allison Epstein

Oh my god, no. 😂 I had largely forgotten the Byron poems I read in college, but I do remember MANFRED, the closet drama, which as a teenaged English major goth, I enjoyed the shit out because of the unhinged gothic vibe and spirit summoning plot. HOWEVER, I started laughing aloud at your critical summary of his poems because sister issues, check, broodily staring off a cliff, check, atheism, check. “This fucking guy” indeed!

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author

THE THINGS THAT MANFRED DID TO MY BRAIN IN COLLEGE

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LOL I'm so sorry

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Apr 2Liked by Allison Epstein

Worth reading to the end just to see “Turdsworth”! I am enraged on behalf of Allegra though.

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author

my mother sent me a text this morning and it said only "Turdsworth"

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Apr 2Liked by Allison Epstein

There are so many sentences in this that I love so much.

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Apr 4Liked by Allison Epstein

The "Lord 'Fuck Around' Byron, finding out" image caption was magnificent.

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Given the life he led, it's kind of appropriate that one of the longer poems he wrote was about the similarly inclined Don Juan.

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Automatic subscribe from me. The funniest thing about Byron’s I’m-the-only-one-who-can-save-Greece crusade is that he commissioned an opera costumer to make him and his bros a bunch of fake uniforms so they could serve (militarily, not so much) (looks, also kinda meh.)

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author

I did not know that, but it rings so true I feel like I must have!

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There’s a great Byron documentary hosted by Rupert Everett where he travels to all of Byron’s party spots and acts completely unhinged. It’s chaotic. Highly recommend.

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author

all you had to say was "hosted by Rupert Everett" and I would have pulled up a chair already.

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Apr 3Liked by Allison Epstein

Well. This is my favorite new way to read about historical figures. Thank you!

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Apr 2Liked by Allison Epstein

Damn! I got a BA in English Literature and if any of my professors had discussed even a quarter of this in class I certainly would have enjoyed Byron more; not his poems, but at least his life.

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Oh, I love this one. I was this many years old before I learned the true history of Lord Byron. This is all the stuff they never told us of in English Lit. I can see why. It's hard to celebrate a man for being one of THE Romantics (Byron, Keats, Shelly) who died early, tragic deaths...except they didn't really tell us the whole story, did they? I just love these stories! I know I don't comment enough, and maybe I should, but wow.

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oh man, Shelley was also an absolute weirdo!

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Wasn’t there a VERY WEIRD sort of horror film made about that holiday they were all on together? I have vague memories of a hugh school friend renting it and all of us just…being very surprised by the vibes. As usual, laughed so hard that one of my kids came in to check on me.

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I know! I'm kinda wondering about poor Keats now. I'm gonna have to look into his history. I'm hoping the fact that he died as young as he did might not be his only redeeming quality.

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Apr 2Liked by Allison Epstein

OOOOOO I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE

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Apr 3Liked by Allison Epstein

Hope you're allowing him Don Juan, though, which is brilliant.

Re the Greek freedom fighting: I always thought that was him scoring off Hobhouse, who'd recently been imprisoned for radical politics i.e. walking the talk, rather than just posturing (and tossing his flowing locks). But who knows?

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