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The Private Life of Lord Byron Reviews

The Private Life of Lord Byron by Antony Peattie

The Private Life of Lord Byron

Antony Peattie

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Unbound
Publisher: Unbound
Publication date: 15 Sep 2018
ISBN: 9781783524266

Featuring cover artwork and endpapers from the late Howard Hodgkin, this intimate biography of Lord Byron is the first book to explore the poet's eating disorder and obsession with fatherhood, and the impact of these on his writing

2 stars out of 5

"offers the finest collection of primary and secondary visual sources related to Byron’s life that I have ever seen"

To leaf through it is to see the Regency period brought vividly to life.

Yet this does not and cannot cancel the book’s other problems, and in the last analysis it is simply not a good book. Its tendency to offer quotations and facts without attribution, its apparent ignorance of recent Byron scholarship and its maddeningly byzantine apparatus undermine it as a source for scholars, while its assertion of opinions and beliefs about Byron as if they were truths risks the possibility that a non-scholarly reader will take subjective and questionable claims as fact and come away believing the poet to be things he was not.


4 stars out of 5
Peter Conrad
6 Oct 2019

"The received image of Byron as a rakish bon vivant is decisively reframed in a biography exploring his personal foibles"

Peattie probes the neuroses of the private man, but his book’s rich parade of illustrations also documents Byron’s self-presentation as a public figure...

Peattie’s book is the portrait of an elusive, paradoxical man, a poet who thought that words were as expendable as breath, a narcissist who disliked himself and a celebrity who laughed at his own publicity.