6th Baron, Lord (George Gordon) Byron 1788-1824 English poet

By T Philips in English National Gallery
By T Philips, English National Gallery

No article on Brits that had an interest in Greek matters would be complete without a reference to Lord Byron. He assisted greatly with the Greek war of independence by financing a lot of it and is buried at Missolonghi, Greece after he became ill while living there.

He was another flamboyant, eccentric English gentleman who travelled widely, wrote romantic poetry and was a bit of a dandy. He also indulged in all manner of sexual pursuits. This was pretty standard behaviour for an aristocrat in the 19th century. He lived fast and died young at only 36. There are many busts and statues across Greece dedicated to him and there are also many streets bearing his name like here in Lefkás.

Now that the introduction is over, time for the real information.

Byron first visited Greece in his Balkan tour for his coming of age tour starting in 1809. He met the most important man in the area at the time, Ali Pascha first in Albania. He had journeyed from Ioannina or Janinina as he writes via Missolonghi, Delphi, Parnassus and Patras finally to Athens. He left in March to visit Smyrna for a month and then continued on to Constantinople. He next sojourn was to Troy. By this time it was May and warm enough for him to swim the Hellespont.

Byron had by this point fallen in love with Greece as he abandoned his well made and intentioned plans to visit Persia and India to return to Athens. He even left his traveling companion who wished to return home to England. Byron was to spend the next year touring the country, staying in a monastery at the foot of the Acropolis or studying Italian and Greek. By November he had arrived in Preveza.

When in the Spring of 1811 he left to visit Malta he was filled with a great sadness and a great many STD’s as he had rather overindulged in all manner of sexual escapades. Within 3 months he had returned to the UK.

Here is the Wikipedia article on his personal life Lord Byron.

He is the fourth part of my series of articles on writers that are connected in some way to Greece.

  1. Lawrence Durrell
  1. Virginia Woolf
  1. Henry Miller

Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Authors, Musicians, Famous Greeks and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Comments

21 comments on “6th Baron, Lord (George Gordon) Byron 1788-1824 English poet”
  1. maylynno says:

    I love this serie. All of them were great writers and eccentric. Thank u

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thankyou very much for the appreciation.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. yaasotaa says:

    Well explained

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yaasotaa says:

        Welcome😊💖💞

        Like

  3. a e i o u ! says:

    Hello Athena, Could you please share your knowledge about Greek influence on India ? We know Alexander was here in India. However, our knowledge of Greek culture is limited to historical wars. Can you share something what you might know about similarities in Indian and Greek Culture ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The English has had a big effect on India as we ruled it for a couple hundred years. The architecture of the govt buildings is still colonial and is the train stations. Some of the bureaucracy is British in origin too. I think Western Europe owes more to Greece than it has received in terms of linguistic, architectural and cultural history. I’m not sure a link could be made other than the British army had outposts in many parts of the empire so you could be born in India, be schooled in Britain and serve in Cyprus which was British controlled at this point. My own grandfather did precisely this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. a e i o u ! says:

        I was reading somewhere that an indian ruler- Chandragupta Maurya , was married to a Greek – Helena. I wonder if there are more such linkages which might be exisiting even today.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve not heard of any. Helen or eleni/elena as you more commonly see is quite a frequently occurring name so it may not even be a Greek.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. a e i o u ! says:

            I found this information in a Wikipedia article. Although Wikipedia articles can not be trusted without proper citations, i would still like to research more on this. Here is the link to the article which mentions Helena.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Greek_Kingdom#cite_ref-32

            I think the name Helena could be an Indian name given to the Greek woman. e.g. Indian scriptures refer to Greek by the name ‘Yavana’. I guess names get distorted/changed in different cultures.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Wow I’m definitely going to have to check that out and report back. Thankyou for sharing.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting post on Lord Byron, of whom little was said, in the course of my education-even in the study of British Literature, in my university days. Sadly, the writers of the 19th Century tended to get short shrift, in those courses, during the 1970’s- with the notable exception of Oscar Wilde.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Byron lived a very short life but it was extremely memorable as it was so fast paced. He splashed himself and his cash about liberally. That tends to make people recall you even if it’s only to comment on your outrageous behaviour. Paradoxically Oscar Wilde did the same thing only closer to home. Why do you think your education was so biased as they both had the same sexual appetites?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True about their both being gay. I think Wilde appealed to more people, at the time, as “the play was the thing”, more than poetry. I later did learn about Byron’s poetry, on my own.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Aditi says:

    Love the series! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou and stay tuned for more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aditi says:

        Definitely will. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoyed yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m now following you so that I can keep up to date with your posts.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Aditi says:

            Thank you!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. This seems to be the most popular series so you will be pleased with the series of posts that I have lined up for the week.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Aditi says:

            Great. I’m looking forward to it!

            Liked by 1 person

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