BRYON IN ITALY by Peter Quennell


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Companion volume to Quennell's Byron; Years of Fame, published in 1935. This volume presents the last, sad years of that fascinating, flamboyant figure of English romanticism. The focus of the book is psychological and literary. It is based to a large extent on contemporary source material, letters, journals, and is a thoughtful, enlightening study. The book opens as the sulky Apollo, exiled, comes to Geneva, becomes intimate with the Shelleys and involved, involuntarily, with the importunate Claire. Italy, Milan, Venice, Rome, -- a succession of casual affairs as Byron becomes increasingly obsessed by a ""nostalgie de la boue"", debauched, sallow, bloated. Finally, all high passions spent, the liaison with Teresa gratifies his sensuality and pleases his sentimentality. The Shelleys again -- ""Ariel's"" death, and finally, purposeless, worn, Byron's swan song in Greece. A fine, interpretative study of the man, paradoxical, confused as he was. Secondarily, a study of the period.

Publisher: Viking