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Topic: Lord Byron Bios

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Subject: Lord Byron Bios
Date Posted: 10/20/2009 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm looking for a good Byron bio for a project I'm working on.  Can anyone recommend one that they liked?  I'm more interested in his life than in lit crit.  Thanks!

Date Posted: 10/26/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Hi Caviglia;

I'm not usually in this forum but when I saw your post I thought I would help a little.

Here are some recommendations:

Leslie P. Marchand's BYRON: A PORTRAIT.  It is no longer in print, but can still be found used. 

LORD BYRON: SELECTED LETTERS AND JOURNALS edited by Leslie P. Marchand (an abridgement of more than 10 volumes). 

Of the more recent biographies, I enjoyed:  Benita Eisler's BYRON: CHILD OF PASSION, FOOL OF FAME

The biography just out by Edna O'Brien,  BYRON IN LOVE: A SHORT DARING LIFE,  I haven't read yet.  It's on my wish list.  However, it has received mixed reviews.  I'd stick with Eisler and Marchand.

I wish you luck with your project.   

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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This is super, super helpful - thank you so much! 

It's primarily an Ada Lovelave project - I'm not 100% sure how much Byron will factor into the end result, but I definitely need some background. There's so much to wade through, I wasn't sure where to start.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I think you chose a fascinating subject!  I have only a peripheral knowledge about Ada Lovelace - a  brilliant, highly educated young woman.  I can only wonder how having the infamous Byron as husband and father affected the relationship between mother and daughter...    

Benita Eisler's biography might be all you need for some background research.  It's comprehensive and current and considered the new definitive biography of Byron.  In comparison Marchand's 1970 classic is a bit dated.  Eisler has a more modern ethic, had access to new documents, and adequately explores Byron's vitriolic relationship with his wife - and more.

I see you keep a blog, Caviglia.  I hope this project might be posted on your blog at some point.  Oh, and I may just have to get a biography of Ada Lovelace after all, now that my interest has been stirred up again. (lol)

 

     



Last Edited on: 10/28/09 3:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I have Ada: Enchantress of Numbers and it looks wonderful, although I haven't started it yet. 

I'm sure I will be blogging about it as I go forward - it was actually a blog post I wrote about female scientists that started me on this.  I'm a writer that comes from a family of math/quant/computer people, so writing about Ada seemed like a good fit.  What form this will eventually take is still a little up in the air.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Thanks, Caviglia, for your blog post link, ( I found out some things I never knew about Hedy Lamar), and for your heads-up on the book about Ada.  It's much appreciated.   

And again, all the very best on your project.   :)