William St Clair

Pen & Sword

Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution

By

Cambridge University Press 338pp £30) order from our bookshop

It has become a cliché that Byron was the first literary celebrity. And certainly there are parallels with the modern variety. Byron – or, rather, ‘Byron’ – was an early example of a carefully managed cult of personality, with staged portraits, spin and mystification, groupies, and so on. Less often remembered was what Byron experienced from the malicious gossip in the newspapers of his day, especially the innuendo of sexual crime, sometimes by himself, sometimes as part of a celebrity ring, presented as facts that press insiders claimed to know to be true. Under current legislation, he could have been awarded huge sums for libel.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,
    • RT : Joanna Kavenna’s ‘Cooking with Trotsky’s Frying Pan’ in June’s is the most well written and interesting… ,