Fantasy, Forgery, and the Byron Legend

Overview

" Byron was -- to echo Wordsworth -- half-perceived and half-created. He would have affirmed Jean Baudrillard's observation that "to seduce is to die to reality and reconstitute oneself as illusion." But among the readers he seduced, in person and in poetry, were women possessed of vivid imaginations who collaborated with him in fashioning his legend. Accused of "treating women harshly," Byron acknowledged: "It may be so -- but I have been their martyr. My whole life has been sacrificed to them and by them." Those whom he spell bound often

... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $24.85   
  • New (5) from $24.85   
  • Used (1) from $74.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

" Byron was -- to echo Wordsworth -- half-perceived and half-created. He would have affirmed Jean Baudrillard's observation that "to seduce is to die to reality and reconstitute oneself as illusion." But among the readers he seduced, in person and in poetry, were women possessed of vivid imaginations who collaborated with him in fashioning his legend. Accused of "treating women harshly," Byron acknowledged: "It may be so -- but I have been their martyr. My whole life has been sacrificed to them and by them." Those whom he spell bound often returned the favor in their own writings tried to remake his public image to reflect their own. Through writings both well known and generally unknown, James Soderholm examines the poet's relationship with five women: Elizabeth Pigot, Caroline Lamb, Annabella Milbanke, Teresa Guiccioli, and Marguerite Blessington. These women participated in Byron's life and literary career and the manipulation of images that is the Byron legend. Soderholm argues against the sentimental depictions of biographers who would preserve Byron's romantic aura by diminishing the contributions of these women to his social, sexual, and literary identity. By restoring the contexts in which literary works charm or bedevil particular readers, the author shows the consequences of Byron's poetic seductions during and after his life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Soderholm is a nimblefooted writer whose characterizations have punch." -- European Romantic Review

"Soderholm has taken the extra time and effort to give us this economical, well-researched, clever, and convincing study of Byron's serious relationships with literate and literary women." -- European Romantic Review

"A study that will clearly make a solid contribution to biographical theory, Byron scholarship, and scholarship on the women writers related to him." -- Rocky Mountain Review

"A delightful book: lucidly written, eloquently expressed, and scholarly without being in the least instance turgid or pretentious.... An exemplary book that ushers in a fresh and invigorating critical approach to Byron" -- The Byron Journal

Booknews
Soderholm (English, U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) examines the poet's relationship with five women and their contributions to his social, sexual, and literary identity, showing the consequences of his poetic seductions during and after his life. Appendices offer a transcription of French portions from a seance with Byron, and an essay on the Byron legend in an age of artificial intelligence. Includes b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813119397
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
A Note on Citations
Introduction: The Grammar of Glamour 1
1 Trial Fantasies: Byron and Elizabeth Pigot 16
2 Byron's Miniature Writ Large: Lady Caroline Lamb 40
3 The Divining of Byron: Annabella Milbanke 70
4 Unwriting His Body: Teresa Guiccioli's Transubstantiation of Byron 102
5 The Art of Conversation: Lady Marguerite Blessington 132
Appendix A: Transcription of French Portions from a Seance with Byron 163
Appendix B: The Byron Legend in an Age of Artificial Intelligence 165
Notes 171
Selected Bibliography 188
Index 193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)