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НазваBiography of George Gordon Byron (реферат)
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Biography of George Gordon Byron

 

 

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron (1788-1824), English poet, was born in

London at 16 Holles Street, Cavendish Square, on the 22nd of January

1788. The Byrons were of Norman stock, but the founder of the family was

Sir John Byron, succeeded by his great-nephew, the poet. Admiral the

Hon. John Byron (q.v.) was the poet's grandfather. His eldest son,

Captain John Byron, the poet's father, was a libertine by choice and in

an eminent degree. He caused to be divorced, and married (1779) as his

first wife, the marchioness of Carmarthen (born Amelia D'Arcy), Baroness

Conyers in her own right. One child of the marriage survived, the Hon.

Augusta Byron (1783-1851), the poet's half-sister, who, in 1807, married

her first cousin, Colonel George Leigh. His second marriage to Catherine

Gordon (b. 1765) of Gight in Aberdeenshire took place at Bath on the

13th of May 1785. He is said to have squandered the fortunes of both

wives. It is certain that Gight was sold to pay his debts (1786), and

that the sole provision for his wife was a settlement of 3,000 pounds.

It was an unhappy marriage. There was an attempt at living together in

France, and, when this failed, Mrs Byron returned to Scotland. On her

way thither she gave birth to a son, christened George Gordon after his

maternal grandfather, who was descended from Sir William Gordon of

Gight, grandson of James I. of Scotland. After a while her husband

rejoined her, but went back to France and died at Valenciennes on the

2nd of August 1791. His wife was not a bad woman, but she was not a good

mother. Vain and capricious, passionate and self-indulgent, she

mismanaged her son from his infancy, now provoking him by her foolish

fondness, and now exciting his contempt by her paroxysms of impotent

rage. She neither looked nor spoke like a gentlewoman; but in the

conduct of her affairs, she was praiseworthy. She hated and avoided

debt, and when relief came (a civil list pension of 300 pounds a year)

she spent most of it on her son. Fairly well educated, she was not

without a taste for books, and her letters are sensible and to the

point. But the violence of her temper was abnormal. Her father committed

suicide, and it is possible that she inherited a tendency to mental

derangement. If Byron owed anything to his parents it was a plea for

pardon.

 

The poet's first years were spent in lodgings at Aberdeen. From 1794 to

1798 he attended grammar school, "threading all classes" till he reached

the fourth. It was a good beginning, a solid foundation, enabling him

from the first to keep a hand over his talents and to turn them to a set

purpose. He was lame from his birth. His right leg and foot, possibly

both feet, were contracted by infantile paralysis, and, to strengthen

his muscles, his mother sent him in the summers of 1796, 1797, to a farm

house of Deeside. He walked with difficulty, but he wandered at will,

soothed and inspired by the grandeur of the scenery. To his Scottish

upbringing he owed his love of mountains, his love and knowledge of the

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