Monday, January 21, 2008

Brooding, Tortured Men #1: Lord Byron

With this post, I'll begin an occasional series about men - historical, fictional or of my personal acquaintance - who were/are dark, troubled and brilliant. In other words, irresistible.

The life of George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), according to his smartly written Wikipedia entry, "featured extravagant living, numerous love affairs, debts, separation, and allegations of incest and sodomy." Poets! They're just like us!

Byron was once described by sometime inamorata Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." He also wrote "She walks in beauty, like the night..." and many other magnificent poems. He was the father of Ada Lovelace, who in turn was the co-inventor of the difference engine, the precursor to the computer.

He lived adventurously, traveled widely, wrote prodigiously and loved unwisely. Byron died fighting in Greece, leaving many envious and even more heartbroken.

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