Thursday, July 20, 2006

Byron's Year

Byron’s Year

Rather than bore the socks off you all with more details of my mundane life, I am going to take a leaf out of my talented fellow blogger Olivia's book and do something different and educational this week.

A Byronic Year

Here are some key dates in Lord Byron’s life that I have put together:

2 January (1815) Byron weds Annabella Milbanke, but the marriage soon runs into trouble. It is claimed Byron upset his wife on their honeymoon by expressing regret that they had married - and buggering her.

4 January (1824) Lord Byron reaches Missolonghi to be greeted enthusiastically by Prince Mavrocordatus and 5,000 soldiers including 600 Suliotes who were placed under his command.

12 January (1817) Byron’s second known daughter Clara Augusta Byron is born (as a result of his brief affair with his admirer Mary Jane Clairmont). Byron believed he had had more than 200 casual affairs with women.

13 January (1816) Lord Byron’s wife leaves him – never to return.

22 January (1788) Byron born at 16 Holles Street, London.

29 February (1788) Byron is baptised George Gordon.

10 March (1812) Childe Harold is published.

13 March (1807) Byron takes his place in the House of Lords.

9 April (1824) Byron catches a chill while riding in heavy rain.

19 April (1824) Byron dies after being incompetently treated by his medical team. His last words are said to have been: ‘The doctors have assassinated me!’

22 April (1811) Byron sets sail from Athens for England.

24 April (1816) Byron leaves England for the last time.

29 April (1817) Byron visits Rome.

26 May (1816) Byron meets Shelley for the first time, on the banks of Lake Geneva.

16 June (1817) Byron publishes Manfred.

2 July (1809) Byron sets sails from Falmouth for Lisbon and Seville, Gibraltar, Patras and Athens.

14 July (1811) Returning from Greece, Byron comes ashore at Sheerness.

15 July (1819) Two cantos of Don Juan are published anonymously.

16 July (1823) Byron sails from Genoa to Greece.
(1824) Byron is buried at Hucknall Torkard, near Nottingham.

2 August (1798) Byron’s disreputable father, Captain Byron, dies penniless in France.

9 September (1814) Byron's proposal of marriage to Annabella Milbanke is finally accepted.

15 October (1822) Byron’s Vision of Judgement is published in the first edition of the The Liberal.

1 November (1806) Byron publishes his first collection of verse, Fugitive Pieces.

10 December (1815) Birth of Byron’s first daughter Augusta Ada Byron (the mother was Bryon’s wife Annabella Milbanke).

This is a far from comprehensive chronology of Byron's life but I hope it may be of some help to students of the great man

For good measure, here's a poem about Byron.

Wednesday (19 July): ‘Leamington Garret. 8pm. Mega-hot. What an amazing, incredible summer. On the way home from the Day-Job I saw another man cyclist coming the other who had a girl in a bikini sitting on his handlebars (I am not making this up).

I can remember only one such glorious summer in my lifetime - back in the mid-1970s in Dorset. I love it. I love it. I love it!

View looking up the Parade, Leamington A picture of the view up the Parade, in Leamington, from my roof is displayed left.

Thursday (20 July): So tired I could hardly get out of bed this morning. Cycling to work in this tremendous heat is really taxing me. It must have been 100 degrees Fahrenheit when I cycled home on Wednesday night.

Went to the Jug & Jester last night. I was going to take the digital camera but changed my mind at the last minute and used my 50p camera instead – about 1/1,400th the cost of the other one!

The strange thing is I am just as likely to do a great shot with the 10 shillings camera as the 700 pounds sterling one.

For instance I took some photographs of Sinead - a really talented singer and very nice girl - performing and she came up to me and was quite excited about this (even though I was using the 50p camera). (I am quite pleased with the result - left).

The most striking musicians last night were a couple of lads, called Freddie and George, who were brilliant, really feisty and powerful on vocals and drums. The organiser told me they were aged 14 and 15. They got the loudest applause I have ever heard on Jam night. I have seen the future.

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