The Complete and Unexpurgated Text of All the Letters Available in Manuscript and the Full Printed Version of All Others
Author: George Gordon Byron Baron Byron
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The first volume of Byron's letters and journals covers his early years and includes his first pilgrimage to Greece and to the East, ending with his last letter from Constantinople on July 4, 1810, before his departure for Athens. Here is the direct record of his rapid development from the serious schoolboy to the facetious youth with ambivalent reactions to his perplexed mother, and the maturing man of extraordinary perceptions and sympathies and friendships.
Lord Byron remains, as he was to many of his contemporaries, the defining personality of his age and time, the quintessential late-Romantic: one whose life matched the freedom of imagination and possibility of his poetry, charismatic, irresistible and shocking. The full range of his work, however, reveals a less straightforward and less stereotypical writer than this: a thinker as well as a feeler, a poet rather than merely a sensationalist, someone who justifies his towering literary reputation as much as his scandalous one. This edition of the Works contains Byron's entire poetical output, including dramas and material omitted or censored from early editions. It also presents around half of the known letters, the journals and other prose writings. The contents of the volumes are: Volume 1 (386 pp.): Introduction to the poetical works by Dr. Peter Cochran; Fugitive Pieces; Poems on Various Occasions; Hours of Idleness; Poems Original and Translated; other early poems; English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers; Hints from Horace; The Curse of Minerva; The Waltz. Volume 2 (295 pp.): Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, including stanzas excluded from the early editions and all Byron's and Hobhouse's notes and appendices. Volume 3 (426 pp.): Poems 1809–1813; The Giaour; The Bride of Abydos; The Corsair; Lara; Hebrew Melodies; Poems 1814–1816; The Siege of Corinth; Parisina; Poems of the Separation. Volume 4 (509 pp.): The Prisoner of Chillon; Poems of July–September, 1816; Manfred; The Lament of Tasso; Beppo; Ode on Venice; Mazeppa; The Prophecy of Dante; The Morgante Maggiore; Francesca of Rimini; Marino Faliero; The Vision of Judgment; Poems 1816–1823; The Blues. Volume 5 (685 pp.): Sardanapalus; The Two Foscari; Cain; Heaven and Earth; Werner; The Deformed Transformed; The Age of Bronze; The Island. Volume 6 (689 pp.): Don Juan. Volume 7 (87 pp.): minor poems and jeux d'esprit. Volume 8 (204 pp.): Introduction to the prose works by Dr. Peter Cochran; letters, to August 1811. Volume 9 (352 pp.): letters, August 1811 to December 1813; journal, November 1813 to April 1814; articles from the Monthly Review; Parliamentary speeches. Volume 10 (266 pp.): letters, January 1814 to November 1816; journal for Augusta, September 1816; a fragment of a novel. Volume 11 (355 pp.): letters, November 1816 to March 1820; translations from Armenian; unfinished skit on Sotheby's Tour; letter to the editor of "My Grandmother's Review"; reply to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. Volume 12 (358 pp.): letters, April 1820 to December 1821; extracts from journal, January to February 1821; "My Dictionary"; Detached Thoughts; the two letters on Bowles and Pope; draft of an address to the Neapolitan insurgents; notes on Bacon's apophthegms and Voltaire. Volume 13 (261 pp.): letters, January 1822 on; two late prose fragments; additional letters; undated letters to Lady Melbourne. All of the Works have been newly typeset for this edition. The basis of the texts is Ernest Hartley Coleridge's edition of the poetry and Rowland E. Prothero's edition of the prose (as published uniformly, London: John Murray, 1898). Further letters have been added from the texts in John Murray, ed., Lord Byron's Correspondence (London: John Murray, 1922, 2 vols.), Ralph, Earl of Lovelace, Astarte (London: Scribner's, 1921), and material supplied by Peter Cochran drawing on the B.L. Loan 70 collection and other sources, and incorporated silently into the chronological sequence and numbering of the series. Additional poems and portions of Childe Harold initially suppressed have been supplied from the online edition by Peter Cochran (www.internationalbyronsociety.org) and incorporated into the sequence.
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the complete and unexpurgated text of all the letters available in manuscript and the full printed version of all others
Author: Baron George Gordon Byron Byron
Publisher: Belknap Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Byron was a superb letter-writer: almost all his letters, whatever the subject or whoever the recipient, are enlivened by his wit, his irony, his honesty, and the sharpness of his observation of people. They provide a vivid self-portrait of the man who, of all his contemporaries, seems to express attitudes and feelings most in tune with the twentieth century. In addition, they offer a mirror of his own time. This first collected edition of all Byron's known letters supersedes Prothero's incomplete edition at the turn of the century. It includes a considerable number of hitherto unpublished letters and the complete text of many that were bowdlerized by former editors for a variety of reasons. Prothero's edition included 1,198 letters. This edition has more than 3,000, over 80 percent of them transcribed entirely from the original manuscripts. Byron's brilliant epistolary saga approaches its end in this last full volume of his letters, from early October 1822 to his fateful departure for Greece in July 1823. During these months he was living in Genoa, with Teresa and her father and brother occupying an apartment in his house. Mary Shelley was staying with the Hunts in a house some distance away. Byron enlarged his circle of English acquaintances, but his liveliest correspondence was still with John Murray, Kinnaird, Hobhouse, and Moore. Of special interest are his frank letters, half flirtatious, to Lady Hardy, those to Trelawny and Mary Shelley, and a growing number to Leigh Hunt and his brother John (publisher of "The Liberal" and of Byron's poems after his break with Murray), discussing "interalia" his thoughts about the continuation of "Don Juan." There is irony in Byron's advice for a reconciliation between Webster and his wife Frances, whose matrimonial virtue Byron was proud to have spared in England. And there is pathos in his letters to his halfsister urging her and her children to join him in Italy, unaware that his missives to Augusta and her replies were scrutinized by Lady Byron. From April on, the letters are full of concern for support of the Greek forces and preparations for his departure.