Byron, George Gordon, sixth Lord (17881824)

Byron, George Gordon, sixth Lord, an English poet, born in London, son of Captain Byron of the Guards, and Catherine Gordon of Gight, Aberdeenshire; spent his boyhood at Aberdeen under his mother, now a widow, and was educated at Harrow and Cambridge, spending, when at the latter, his vacations in London, where his mother had taken a house; wrote “Hours of Idleness,” a poor first attempt, which called forth a severe criticism in the Edinburgh Review, and which he satirised in “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,” and soon afterwards left England and spent two years in foreign travel; wrote first part of “Childe Harold,” “awoke one morning and found himself famous”; produced the “Giaour,” “Bride of Abydos,” “Hebrew Melodies,” and other work. In his school days he had fallen in love with Mary Chaworth, but she had not returned his affection, and in 1815 he married Miss Millbank, an heiress, who in a year left him never to return, when a storm raised against him on account of his private life drove him from England, and he never came back; on the Continent, moved from place to place, finished “Childe Harold,” completed several short poems, and wrote “Don Juan”; threw himself into revolutionary movements in Italy and Greece, risked his all in the emancipation of the latter, and embarking in it, died at Missolonghi in a fit, at the age of 36. His poems, from the character of the passion that breathed in them, made a great impression on his age, but the like interest in them is happily now passing away, if not already past; the earth is looking green again once more, under the breath, it is believed, of a new spring-time, or anyhow, the promise of such. See “Organic Filaments” in “Sartor Resartus” (17881824).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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