Biography for Don Juan


Penguin Putnam
George Gordon Byron was born on January 22, 1788 and he inherited the barony in 1798. He went to school in Dulwich, and then in 1801 to Harrow. In 1805 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, later gaining a reputation in London for his startling good looks and extravagant behavior. His first collection of poems, Hours of Idleness (1807), was not well received, but with the publication of the first two cantos ofChilde Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) he became famous overnight and increased this fame with a series of wildly popular ‘Eastern Tales'. In 1815 he married the heiress Annabella Milbanke, but they were separated after a year. Byron shocked society by the rumored relationship with his half-sister, Augusta, and in 1816 he left England forever. He eventually settled in Italy, where he lived for some time with Teresa, Contessa Guiccioli. He supported Italian revolutionary movements and in 1823 he left for Greece to fight in its struggle for independence, but he contracted a fever and died at Missolonghi in 1824.

Byron's contemporary popularity was based first on Childe Harold and the ‘Tales', and then onDon Juan (1819-24), his most sophisticated and accomplished writing. He was one of the strongest exemplars of the Romantic movement, and the Byronic hero was a prototype widely imitated in European and American literature.

Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University.


Peter J. Manning is chair and professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook.



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Random House, Inc.
George Gordon Byron was born on 22 January 1788 and inherited the barony in 1798. He gained a reputation for his startling good looks and extravagant behaviour, and on the publication of 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' became famous overnight. In 1815 he married Annabella Millbanke, but they were seaprated after a year. The rumoured relationship with his half-sister Augusta lead him to leave England in 1816. He eventually settled in Italy and supported Italian revolutionary movements, and in 1823 left to fight for Greek independence. He contracted fever and died in 1824. T.G. Steffan is Professor Emeritus of English in the University of Austin, Texas. W.W. Pratt is a former Professor Emeritus of English in the University of Austin, and died in 1991. Susan J. Wolfson (introducer) is Professor of English at Princeton University. Peter J. Manning is Professor of English at the State University of New York.

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