Lord Byron

Early travels and success

Illustration from Childe Harold

After his education at Harrow and Cambridge he travelled throughout Europe, visiting Portugal, Spain, Malta and Greece; he swam the Hellespont and became fired with the desire, which was to lead to his return and death, that Greece should be freed from the Turks.

His first great literary triumph came with the publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in March 1812. At this time Augusta became his constant companion and in 1813 he wrote The Bride of Abydos in a week, and The Corsair in ten days. In 1814 Augusta gave birth to a daughter, almost certainly Byron’s, and in 1815 he married Annabella Milbanke. Their daughter Ada was born one year later but rumours of his incest were rife and Annabella left him; a legal separation was arranged later and Byron never saw his daughter again.