Risky Regencies

Mad bad and dangerous to know

As the lovely and talented Keira pointed out yesterday, it was Byron’s birthday on Tuesday. (I always remember Byron’s birthday because it’s my father’s birthday too–he just turned 97! Younger than Byron, but not by much.)

So happy birthday, Byron, the ultimate bad boy– mad bad and dangerous to know as the equally mad bad and dangerous Lady Caroline Lamb, defined him. But heck, the man was HAWWWT.

I blogged a little while ago about this excellent book by Jude Morgan about Byron, Shelley, et al, and I urge you to read it–it’s fabulous. (And I’ve just read Symphony by Jude Morgan, about Berlioz and Harriet Smithson, an amazing book. But I’m saving that for another time .) So I thought we’d celebrate Byron’s birthday with some of his quotations–many of which I found at this excellent site, not that there’s a shortage of sites about Byron. And throw in a few more pics of him.

I awoke one morning and found myself famous.

I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.

What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate’s sultry.

The reading or non-reading a book will never keep down a single petticoat.

A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine & becoming viands.

I am about to be married, and am of course in all the misery of a man in pursuit of happiness.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,

And the heart must pause for breath,
And love itself have rest.

So share your favorite Byron quote, poem, or anecdote. Or tell us how long it would have taken you to enter into a scandalous and public liaison with him (me: ten minutes).

Learn the latest shocking scandal involving Lord B—- every month via the Riskies newsletter; send an email with NEWSLETTER in the header to riskies@yahoo.com. All contests all the time–enter to win a signed copy of Jane Lockwood’s Forbidden Shores in a contest sponsored by Pam Rosenthal ; and you only have a week left to read an alternate ending to The Rules of Gentility and enter to win a prize at janetmullany.com.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

Really Janet? He would have had me at hello! I love the quote about champagne and lobster salad. Not only is it making me hungry, but he’s totally correct. I have Passion on my TBR pile. I’ve had a wee crush on Byron since childhood, and Gabriel Bryne’s performance in that otherwise execrable movie Gothic I thought was close to what he must have been like. I’ve already written about Lady Caroline Lamb, but my goal is to write about all of Bryon’s women on Scandalous Women. Did you see the movie with Jonny Lee Miller, Janet?

Georgie Lee
14 years ago

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”

This is my favorite Byron quote. It’s from “Childe Harold”. Have you read “Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets” by Catherine M. Andronik. It’s a very good survey of the scandals and lives of the romantic poets.

Pam Rosenthal
14 years ago

But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it – whatever thou may’st.
And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be;
And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet,
With thee at my side, than with worlds at our feet.

14 years ago

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think;
‘Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses
Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces
Frail man, when paper – even a rag like this – ,
Survives himself, his tomb, and all that’s his.
from Don Juan
George Gordon, Lord Byron

I adore Byron. I would have stalked him like a paparazzi or even worse Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. LOL I really do love his work. So much so that my late DH bought me a first edition of Byron’s poetry. I have no idea what it cost. I shudder to think. He bought it for me after he got his first post as head of psychiatry at a hospital. It means all the more because I lost him less than two months later to a drunk driver.

Once you have loved, you will always love. For what’s in your mind may escape, but what’s in your heart will remain forever. There is no instinct like that of the heart.

Deb Marlowe
14 years ago

Weirdly enough I have a cousin who looks like Byron! He is a wonderful family man but likely has no idea who Byron is–and still, everytime I see a portrait of Byron I think of him.

My favorite is The Tear:

When Friendship or Love our sympathies move,
When Truth in a glance should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection’s a Tear

Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite’s wile,
To mask detestation or fear
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul-telling eye
Is dimm’d for a time with a tear

My favorite stanzas are the ones about the sailors and soldiers. 🙂

Cara King
14 years ago

Nah, I like a man who likes women who eat. I’m not giving up pizza in public just to have Byron for a lover! 🙂

I’m sure Jeremy Northam’s Knightley wouldn’t mind. Or, say, that cute J J Feild as Tilney. And Ciaran Hinds’s Wentworth would probably urge women to eat more!

Cara (who has a one-track mind right now)

14 years ago

Lobster salad and champagne. Hmm. Whatever Byron’s virtues as a poet, as a nutritionist he was sadly lacking.


Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“Nah, I like a man who likes women who eat. I’m not giving up pizza in public just to have Byron for a lover! :-)”

LOL, Cara! I’m with you. 🙂 I do like Byron’s poetry very much (“Stanzas for Music” is a favorite), but I fear I’d soon find him tiresome in real life, if the eccentricties in his biography are true!)

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

The poetry is beautiful, perhaps unsurpassed, but Byron as a man never intrigued me either.

Now Wellington. Or Castlereagh. That’s a different story.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

I love Byron’s poetry but also don’t feel a particular attraction to him as a man. Maybe I’m too steeped in military heroes at this point…

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Elizabeth, the internationalbyronsociety.org (sorry, too lazy to do the html) has a list of films and recommends the Johnny Lee Miller version, altho to me he looks very unByronic. Gabriel Byrne, tho, was pretty and pretty good.

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that ‘s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes

Collapses on floor in demented lustful puddle.

8 years ago

1efIt’s a good shame you don’t contain a give money btuotn! I’d definitely give money for this fantastic webpage! That i suppose for the time being i’ll be satisfied bookmarking together with including an individual’s Feed that will my best Msn balance. That i appearance forward that will recent messages and definitely will share the web site utilizing my best Facebook or twitter team: )

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x