Byron: The Erotic Liberal is the first book to focus on the erotic dimension of Byron's political career, as expressed in both Byron's poetry and his prose. Jonathan David Gross draws on extensive archival research into the life and letters of Lady Melbourne, whose correspondence with Byron shaped his erotic imagination and influenced his engagement with the biblical story of Joseph. Gross places Byron's politics in the context of the writings of other European aristocratic liberals, such as Madame de Stael, to consider anew Byron's relationship to women and his political peers. Yet Gross successfully brings Byron into our modern age, making use of recent work in women's studies and gay studies to explain how Byron's sexuality shaped his political beliefs.
Jonathan David Gross is associate professor of English at DePaul University. He is the editor of Byron's "Corbeau Blanc": The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Milbanke, Lady Melbourne (1997).
Chapter 1 Byron: The Erotic Liberal Chapter 2 Byron's Politics of Feeling Chapter 3 Byron's Politics of Sentimentalism Chapter 4 Byron and the Story of Joseph: The Bride of Abydos, Hebrew Melodies, and Don Juan Chapter 5 Cosmopolitan Liberalism: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, III, and De L'Allemagne Chapter 6 "Get[ting] into Lord's Ground": Byron's Aristocratic Liberalism in the Pope-Bowles Controversy and Marino Faliero Chapter 7 "One Half of What I Should Say": Byron's Gay Narrator in Don Juan Chapter 8 The Liberal as Periodical and Political Posture Chapter 9 "Still Let Me Love!": Byron in Greece Chapter 10 Byron and the Liberal Imagination in America