Miniaturist by day. Storyteller by dusk. Between two worlds on Patreon...
Today, February 27 was the day that my mother was delivered of me some years ago and a few years before that, Lord Byron delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords.
Yes, indeed on this very day some 207 years ago, our poet spoke out in 'A Rage Against the Machine' as he identified with the Luddite cause and claiming to be as penniless as those he supported, he sought the support of Lord Holland as the leader of the Whigs to address the House and to voice his opposition to the introduction of the death penalty...
Yes, February is the month for a profusion of chocolates, expensive red roses and some very dubious Valentine's cards but oh, what a month of anticipation as Cupid's Arrow flies forth!
However, sadly not for the poet Lord Byron as February 1816 would be the month that his wife would unceremoniously ditch him!
The Fifth Baron Byron was NOT the grandfather of our poet as purported by Alexander Larman in his sloppily researched tome Byron's Women which was published to enormous fanfare in 2016 but rather THE great-uncle and it was upon his demise that Byron became a Lord and inherited land and titles which included the glorious ancestral abode of Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire.
William Byron had inherited his title of the 'Wicked Lord' for a life that had included the illegal selling of family estates and ruining what little was left in revenge against his only son and heir William who having decided on his own love match and in true Byron style promptly married his cousin!
Byron was noted for his open manner and of his tendency to admit his feelings of despondency, sorrow or his word of choice - melancholy. For his poetry is noted for it, his private journals speak of it and he was often candid about his "constitutional depression of Spirits" in letters to his friends.
Although the study of genetics was unknown in Byron's time, he always believed that he was 'doomed' by the fact that he was a in the words of his mother a "true Byrrone"
Despite his charm, his father was considered a fickle profligate and adulterer and with an irate temper, extreme moods and bouts of depression; Byron's mother Catherine Gordon was more than a match for 'Mad Jack' as he was known throughout society.
In the light of his parents' temperaments and that death by suicide is hinted at on ALL sides of Byron's unique family; it is perhaps NOT surprising that Byron was frequently one unhappy chap...