Kirkus Star


Email this review


This is must reading for Byron lovers and students of English literary history, and recommended for the general public as a piece of fascinating and sincere biography. It is a fresh portrait of Lord Byron based on absolutely new and hitherto unobtainable correspondence, revealed here with great simplicity and respect for scholarly accuracy. The story is the story of Byron's last love affair, presumably his deepest, with the Countess Teresa Guiccioli of Ravenna. The Marchesa Origo has had access to 150 love letters written by Byron to Teresa; her hitherto unpublished Life of Lord Byron; letters from Teresa to her lover; letters from the young lady's brother, an ardent admirer of Byron's; documents of the secret police, for Byron was under suspicion for revolutionary activities while in Italy, and legal documents pertaining to the young woman's divorce from her husband. These were all contained in a mahogany box which . Origo has access to through a great nephew of Teresa, who was her heir. For seventy five years they have lain untouched. In addition to the interest in Byron, this is a treasure trove for the Byron-Shelley period and the history of Italy in 1820. Presented with detachment and authenticity, the material nonetheless gives off a rich aroma of those fargone and unbelievably romantic days, presenting at the same time a most interesting picture of the mind and soul of a great poet and a strange man.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1949
ISBN: 1164514776
Publisher: Scribner