Massie, Allan. Introduction by Elizabeth Longford.
Title BYRON'S TRAVELS.
Publisher Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1988, first edition.
Seller ID 20778
224 pp, large 8vo (9 7/16" H), hard cover in dust jacket. ISBN 0283994088 B&w photographs, reproductions. "As a young man in search of varied experience and adventure, (Byron) began his first 'grand tour' in July 1809, six months after his twenty -first birthday. It took him by way of Portugal, Southern Spain, Sardinia, and Malta to Athens, Smyrna and Constantinople. Inspired to write as he travelled, his return to England saw the publication of the first two cantos of the largely a u t o b i o g raphical poem about a moral outlaw, 'Childe Harold', and the Oriental tales, both of which became bestsellers in Regency London. His reputation as a poet was established. His second departure from England was precipitated by the b r ea ku p of h is m ar riage to Anne Isabelle Milbanke. Pursued by scandal and rumours, and finding England both intolerable and intolerant, he set off for Italy. His route took him via Switzerland, where he spent time with Shelley, and Milan, w he re he me t t he gre at Fre nch writer Stendhal. He was to live for the next seven years in Venice, Ravenna, Pisa and Genoa. The Venetian years, from 1816 to 1819, were vivid, dissipated, productive. 'Childe Harold' was finished, 'Beppo' writte n, 'Do n J uan ', h is mast erp iece , begun. He engaged in revolutionary politics, embarked on torrid love affairs and became, after Napoleon had been exiled to Elba, the most remarkable celebrity of his day. Then, in July 1823, he left for Greec e t o br ing what aid he could to the G reek struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. Although he was talking of visiting America and living in retirement in England, it was in Greece that he died, at the age of thirty-six. 'Byron's Tr avel s' is ric h and reve ali ng. A cop ious l etter-writer and sometimes diarist, Byron wrote so vividly of his travels that much of the story can be told in his own words. Allan Massie quotes these where appropriate and takes us on the journe ys wi th Byr on, f ollowi ng him thr ough th e yea rs and placing him in the political and cultural setting of his time. The result is a compelling new portrait of Byron, silhouetted against a backcloth of the Mediterranean." Dust jacket has ligh t edge wear/w rinkli ng at t op/bott om of spine a nd fla p-folds - light wrinkling at top edge of front flap. Near Fine/Very Good