Of the hundreds of books on Byron and his work, not one has been devoted to the immediate aftermath of his life; and yet it is these first twenty posthumous years that yield the most unexpected and exciting discoveries about the character of the poet and the behavior of those who once surrounded him—wife, sister, friends, enemies.
With the burning of his memoirs almost as soon as news of his death reach England in May 1924, there began the sequence of impassioned controversies that have followed one another like the links in a chain ever since. What sort of man was the begetter of these dramas? Unflagging in energy and acumen, Doris Lang- ley Moore sifts the various witnesses, their motives and credentials, and not only reveals how much questionable evidence has been accepted but develops a corrected picture that appeals and persuades.
Drawing upon a very large amount of unpublished material, from the Lovelace Papers, Murray manuscripts, and Hobhouse archives, she reaches the conclusion that, as to his chroniclers, a great man has too often fallen among thieves. The story she tells needs no special knowledge of Byron. It is written for everyone who enjoys literary detective work and human drama.
About the Author
Table of Contents
I The Burning of the Memoirs 12
II Biographers-The First Battle 57
III Further Ordeal by Biography 94
IV Widow, Sister, and Fortune 128
V Discords from Greece 168
VI Trials of an Executor 195
VII The Blackmail Canard 224
VIII Thomas Moore versus Several Antagonists 262
IX Lady Byron's 'Remarks' 303
X Trouble from Two Scotsmen 338
XI An Imaginative Frenchman 372
XII The Cost of a Journey 396
XIII 'Lord Byron's Jackal' 430
XIV Two Countesses 448
XV 'Implora Pace' 487
Miniature Biography 513
Some Leading Characters 521
Printed Sources Consulted 525