Lord Byron Appreciation Post
I’m a big fan of Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelley, and they were good friends with Lord Byron, so I felt like reading up on him.
I was not disappointed.
- THE DUDE WAS BISEXUAL. He had loads of love and sexual affairs with both men and women, and when he died from a fever at the age of 36 it was one of his male lovers, Loukas Chalandritsanos, that was with him.
- They think that his flirty and sexual ways were influenced by the fact that he was sexually abused as a child, by his mother’s maid (who was then fired) and by his mother’s suitor Lord Grey de Ruthyn.
- HE LOVED ANIMALS SO MUCH - when his beloved dog Boatswain had rabies, Byron insisted on staying with him, treating him, nursing him as well he could without fear of being bitten and infected himself. When Boatswain died, Byron had a funeral monument built for him which was bigger than his own (and he was already in debt at the time but he didn’t care cuz it was for his precious pup) and he wrote in his will that he wanted to be buried with him.
- At university he was told that he wasn’t allowed to keep dogs (this was when Boatswain was still alive btw), and out of spite HE BROUGHT A FUCKING BEAR INTO THE UNIVERSITY because nowhere in the rules did it say that he wasn’t allowed to keep bears. He even tried to get a college fellowship for the bear, so that it legally had to stay - for some reason that didn’t work.
- Like I mentioned above, he was friends with the Shelleys, and when they were all on a trip to Geneva along with John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont, Byron suggested that they write ghost stories to pass the time: Mary Shelley’s ghost story turned out to be Frankenstein.
- He was an amazing swimmer. The first notable example of open water swimming took place on May 3rd 1810, and it was Byron himself who swam from Europe to Asia across the Hellespont Strait. Also, when he was sailing to Cephalonia, every day at noon he was jump overboard to have a swim, despite the fact that sharks were known in the area (ultimate yolo)
- Byron was born with a deformity in his right foot, known as “clubfoot”, and he was extremely self-conscious about it, nicknaming himself “le diable boiteux” (”the limping devil” in French). This didn’t stop him from being a dank swimmer tho.
- He was such a sassy shit. In his letters to Francis Hodgson, he nicknamed William Wordsworth “Turdsworth” because of how much he disliked him.
- He was the king of passive-aggressiveness. If ever someone pissed him off, he’d write about them in a poem: for example, when Lord Elgin took the Parthenon Marbles, he “reacted with fury” and denounced his actions in his poem The Curse of Minerva.
- Before he died, Byron joined the Greek War of Independence and was considered a hero by the Greeks. It’s said that if he hadn’t died, he might have become the next King of Greece (which is now proven to be extremely unlikely - but shh he’s totally king material just sayin)