By Frances Wilson
This number of essays by way of prime Byronists explores the advance of the parable of Byron and the Byronic from the poet's self-representations to his numerous appearances in 19th- and twentieth-century literature and in drama, movie and portraiture. Byromania (as Annabella Milbanke named the frenzied response to Byron's poetry and character) seems on the phenomena of Byronism via quite a few severe views, and it's designed to attract either an educational and a favored readership alike.
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Additional resources for Byromania: Portraits of the Artist in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Culture
Dallas (the Schoolboy) to Michael Angelo - to Raphael - to a petit maitre - to Diogenes, to Childe Harold - to Lara - to the Count in Beppo - to Milton - to Pope - to Dryden - To Burns - to Savage - to Chatterton - to 'oft have I heard of thee my Lord Biron' in Shakespeare, to Churchill the poet - to Kean the Actor - to Alfieri &c. &c. &c. - the likeness to Alfieri was asserted very seriously by an Italian who had known him in his younger days - it of course related merely to our apparent personal dispositions - he did not assert it to me (for we were not then good friends) but in society.
In 1818, having put England behind and having found a new and congenial mode of life in Italy, Byron exchanged English Spenserian verse for Italian ottava rima, the invented Childe Harold for the appropriated Don Juan, the mythic pose of world-weary pilgrim for that of rueful laughing philosopher. Beginning Don Juan, Byron struck a vein of gold comparable to, but even richer than, that of Childe Harold. Again he had hit upon an indefinitely sustainable poetic vehicle for self-expression through a volatile blend of concealment and confession, a delightfully mystifying tissue of apparent sincerity, blatant falsehood, and every nuance between.
18 Byromania with very contemporary debates about the permissive society', and her Regency rake is 'at one level celebrated' but 'is also often represented as a dissolute figure who needs to be reformed by the heroine'. For Sales as well as for Elfenbein, the conflict between hero and heroine is class-based and the bourgeois values of the heroine are finally succumbed to by the aristocratic male, who 'gives up his dissolute, permissive, Byronic lifestyle in favour of marriage and life-long romance'.
Byromania: Portraits of the Artist in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Culture by Frances Wilson