Lord Byron  

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"Mad, bad and dangerous to know"

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (22 January 178819 April 1824) was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Among Lord Byron's best-known works are the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. The latter remained incomplete on his death. He was regarded as one of the greatest European poets and remains widely read.

Lord Byron's fame rests not only in his writings but also in his life, which featured extravagant living, numerous love affairs, debts, separation, and allegations of incest and sodomy. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organization the Carbonari in its struggle against Austria, and later travelled to fight against the Turks in the Greek War of Independence, for which the Greeks consider him a national hero. He died from fever in Missolonghi.

His daughter Ada Lovelace, notable in her own right, collaborated with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine, a predecessor to modern computers.

Byron and the moderns

In 1843 famed critic Sainte-Beuve wrote that Byron and Sade "are perhaps the two greatest inspirations of our moderns, the first openly and visibly, the second clandestinely, but not very.

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