The themes George Gordon Byron wrote about


George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS , commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was a British poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.

Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts, numerous love affairs, rumours of a scandalous incestuous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know". It has been speculated that he suffered from bipolar I disorder, or manic depression. He travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died at 36 years old from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece.


Byron's names were changed throughout his life. He was the son of Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron and his second wife, the former Catherine Gordon (d. 1811), a descendant of Cardinal Beaton and heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Byron's father had previously seduced the married Marchioness of Caermarthen and, after she divorced her husband the Earl, had married her. His treatment of her was described as "brutal and vicious", and she died after having given birth to two daughters, only one of which survived: Byron's half-sister, Augusta.

Byron's paternal grandparents were Vice-Admiral The Hon. John "Foulweather Jack" Byron and Sophia Trevanion. Vice Admiral John Byron had circumnavigated the globe, and was the younger brother of the 5th Baron Byron, known as "the Wicked Lord".

He was christened "George Gordon Byron" at St Marylebone Parish Church after his maternal grandfather, George Gordon of Gight, a descendant of James I of Scotland, who had committed suicide in 1779.

In order to claim his second wife's estate in Scotland, Byron's father had taken the additional surname "Gordon", becoming "John Byron Gordon", and he was occasionally styled "John Byron Gordon of Gight". Byron himself used this surname for a time and was registered at school in Aberdeen as "George Byron Gordon". At the age of 10, he inherited the English Barony of Byron of Rochdale, becoming "Lord Byron", and eventually dropped the double surname (though after this point his surname was secondary to his peerage).

When Byron's mother-in-law, Judith Noel died in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" in order to inherit half her estate, and so he obtained a Royal Warrant allowing him to "take and use the surname of Noel only". The Royal Warrant also allowed him to "subscribe the said surname of Noel before all titles of honour", and from that point he signed himself "Noel Byron" (the usual signature of a peer being merely the peerage, in this case simply "Byron"). It is speculated that this was so that his initals would read "N.B." mimicking those of his hero, Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also sometimes referred to as "Lord Noel Byron", as if "Noel" were part of his title, and likewise his wife was sometimes called "Lady Noel Byron". Lady Byron eventually succeeded to the Barony of Wentworth, becoming "Lady Wentworth".

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