Alongside Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron possesses a star-quality unlike other classic British authors. His life as poet, philanderer, homosexual, and freedom fighter is legendary, and this new selection from his powerful letters and journals tells the story from the inside, in Byron's own racy and passionate style. Though Byron is chiefly known as a poet, his letters and journals are one of the glories of English prose literature, and one of the greatest British acts of autobiography, alongside Pepys' Diary and Boswell's Journal. This new selection, taken from the authoritative and unbowdlerized edition prepared by Leslie Marchand in the 1970s, not only provides the cream of his informal prose; it amounts to a biography in Byron's own words. No other English writer lived so remarkable an existence, from rented rooms in Aberdeen to a Nottinghamshire peerage, from European fame to English infamy, and notorious Italian exile to a glorious death in the Greek War of Independence.The letters and journals are selected, introduced, and annotated to provide a running narrative of the life and career of his remarkable man in his own unmistakable words.
Richard Lansdown took his bachelor's and doctoral degrees at University College, London. After two years teaching literature in Finland he moved to Australia, where he has taught in New South Wales and Tropical North Queensland, where he still lives and works. He has written two other studies of Lord Byron, and numerous articles on Romantic and Nineteenth-Century literature.