Byron the Maker: Truth or Masquerade--An Exploration
Volume One: Byron in England
By Anne Fleming
Book Guild Publishing
Distrubuted by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
294 pages, Illustrated
Teresa Guiccioli, the last love of Byron's life, complained after his death that all the biographies on Byron were based on hostile English books. Some recent biographies have themselves displayed what Professor John Clubbe, writing in "The Byron Journal", has called a 'censorious dislike of their subject'. None has allowed Byron to speak for himself at any length. This new biography makes greater use of the Letters and Journals and is livelier as a result, for Byron's letters are most entertaining, poignant and revealing. It treats the 'spin' on the marriage by Lady Byron and her supporters with a healthy scepticism.
The author deals with the latest theories, disposing briskly and convincingly of the bizarre suggestion that Byron may have died in Greece for same-sex love rather than for the freedom of that country. Fleming also dismisses the wilful insistence from some quarters that, despite telling evidence to the contrary (in the form of the letters and poems addressed to Augusta Leigh), the poet was wholly homosexual and was cruel to women because he was going against his nature in making love to them.
Here at last, in "Byron the Maker", one of the world's most original literary figures is allowed to tell his own story.
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