Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Lord Byron

Lord Byron died on 19 April 1824 at just thirty-six years of age. He was deeply mourned in England and became a hero in Greece. In the 19th century, as subjected peoples, the Christian Greeks started to exert their nationalist aspirations against the Mohammedan Turks. Byron fully supported their struggle for self-determination as a Christian nation. His body was brought back to England, but was refused burial at Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, as was the custom for individuals of such stature. Instead, he was buried in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard, near Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire. This portrait of Lord Byron, with whom I share a blood connection, was inspired by the miniature contained in a locket (below) commissioned by Lady Caroline Lamb (about whom I wrote a biography, Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know) that she kept with her until her dying breath. This came four years after the untimely demise of the object of her passion whose end caused her already fragile mental state to finally descend into madness and unsurprisingly hasten her own expiry.

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