George Byron’s Ideas on Women

Lord George Gordon Byron was a poetical genius partially marked by his tumultuous life involving women and how they appeared in his works. He was born in January 1788 and died abroad in April 1824. 

His complicated relationship with women probably began with his mother, Catherine Gordon. She was a vulgar woman, who drank heavily and was undoubtedly stubborn. He married twice for money, but the woman who appeared as Donna Inez in Don Juan was modeled after Anne Milbanke. Their marriage soured, having married too soon to realize they were not right for each other. She was gifted in science and mathematics, a trait which he mocked openly in his play. The relationship Byron had with his half sister, Augusta, distressed Milbanke and she left not long into the marriage with their daughter. 

 

Image Anne Milbanke

His shady relationship with his half sister led him to flee the country to save her integrity, but he remembers her fondly in Epistle to Augusta and Stanzas to Augusta, one of the few women to have been remembered with a complimentary light in his poetry. He called their relationship one of the most important in his life.

Image Augusta Leigh

 

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