Byron's Travels

Byron's Travels


In Lord Byron's lifetime, details of his travels were widely known through poems set in different countries, ranging from his homes in Scotland and England, through Europe and the Middle East, to the South Pacific and into extra-terrestrial realms. At the same time, a much more personal story was being shared with friends and family. Even when divided from those whose company he most enjoyed, Byron continued to share his thoughts and feelings about wherever he happened to be. His compulsive letter-writing reveals a strong desire to reach across space, to connect and reconnect with those elsewhere. While his memoirs did not survive the ceremonial posthumous bonfire at 50 Albemarle Street, many of Byron's correspondents treasured every word in their possession. This means a remarkable legacy has been preserved in letters that still seem as alive with conversational energy as when they were dashed off more than two hundred years ago. Through Byron's letters and journals, we are still able to become mental travellers, transported across time and space by this brilliant, mercurial, magnificent and often maddening writer.

About the author

Lord Byron

Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron) was born January 22, 1788. By the time he was at Harrow, he had already experienced a major shift in place and personal circumstances - from the child born at the Castle of Gight in the Scottish Highlands to the teenage heir of the Byron barony, whose family seat was Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. From Harrow, he went to the University of Cambridge and then, while most young gentlemen had become resigned to the impossibility of undertaking a Grand Tour during the years of Napoleon's domination of Europe, Byron embarked on a voyage around the Iberian peninsula and across the Mediterranean to Turkey, Greece and Albania to see as much as he could of the Ancient world and to set himself up for the Modern.

Byron's appetite for new places was never satisfied. After four years in London, being feted as a great poet, he set off again amid scandal and distress to see the Battlefield of Waterloo, to journey down the Rhine to Switzerland, before heading beyond the Alps to Italy and eventually to Greece, where he died at the age of 36.

From the moment Childe Harold appeared in 1812, when Byron woke to find himself famous, to 1824 when the news of his death broke over London, readers were variously entranced, transported, enraged, dismayed, amused, and smitten.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more