Frances Wilson

Poetry & Pose

Byron’s Women

By Alexander Larman

Head of Zeus 418pp £25 order from our bookshop

‘Alas, the love of women!’ moaned Byron in Don Juan. But the love of women was as naught compared to the pursuit of Byron by his legion of biographers, who return to his carcass with the regularity of eagles feeding on the liver of Prometheus. Byron’s Women, the latest book on the wicked milord, gives us the tale of rum, sodomy and the lash through the stories of nine of his victims, beginning with Catherine Gordon, his well-meaning mama, and ending with Ada Lovelace and Elizabeth Medora Leigh, the daughters he never knew. In between we get his dangerous liaison with Caroline Lamb, giggly fumblings with his half-sister, Augusta, the marriage from hell with Annabella Milbanke, the tragedy of Claire Clairmont and his last attachment, to boring Teresa Guiccioli.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Andrew Irwin examines the language and structure of Reservoir 13, a 'portrait of a whole village' by Jon McGregor ,
    • David Jacques's Garden of Court and Country: English Design 1630-1730, reviewed by Tim Richardson ,
    • Lucy Popescu () appeals on the behalf of Rashad Ramazanov, a writer and blogger imprisoned in Azerbaijan ,
    • ''the icon of restlessness for a world that never seems able to settle.'' How Hamlet went on tour ,
    • . is upon us. Look out for free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees.,
    • 'If there is a god, nature is the breath of it and art ... is its messenger.' Jan Morris contemplates Wordsworth ,
    • Weekend read 2: Take inspiration from Jonathan Meades's 'anti'-recipes and 'serve up a treat' this Sunday ,