Lord Byron


George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, had a family life so complex that Wikipedia gave it its own page. The short version is that he inherited the title of “lord” at the age of ten and proceeded to become a hopelessly debauched bisexual poet in an age when England was tightening its anti-homosexuality laws. He traveled widely across the Mediterranean, leaving behind a string of former flames and compositions in their honor. His brief stay in Switzerland left him in the company of Percy Shelley and (not yet) wife Mary; their mutual fondness for fantastical stories inspired Mary to write Frankenstein that very summer.

In Byron’s later years he visited Venice and became obsessed with the Armenian language, then fought with the Greeks for independence from the Ottoman Empire; during the war he fell ill and died of what may have been sepsis. He left behind enough classic literary works to have the term “Byronic hero” named after him, and his role in modern pop culture also has its own Wikipedia page.

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