Erotic Sunday: Lord Byron
October 7, 2012 3 Comments
Sounds rather sacrilege, doesn’t it? Talking about sex on a Sunday. Or maybe some of my Catholic husband is rubbing off on me.
In my opinion, one cannot write erotica without paying homage to those who came before us. Considered to be a leading figure in the Romantic Movement of literature during the eighteenth century, Lord Byron was as well known for his scandalous affairs as well as his literature. While his most famous poem ‘SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY’, is sweet and innocent, it was his other work ‘CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE’ that made him really famous as it depicted a young man’s journey across Europe and the many romantic encounters he had. At the time, many thought this succession of poems were autobiographical due to Lord Byron’s reputation. After all, Byron’s sexual appetite was well known to everyone with rumours that he was bi-sexual.
Mild by today’s standards, many passages in CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE were considered to be incredibly erotic. Some people find this hard to believe as the see the Victorian era though the eyes of Jane Austin or the Bronte Sisters, when it was far from the truth, but that’s a topic for another Sunday.
Lord Byron also gave us the Byronic character which has become very popular in modern romantic literature. There are several good definitions, many of which, could be considered characteristics of Lord Byron himself.
An antihero who is a romanticized but wicked character. Conventionally, the figure is a young and attractive male with a bad reputation. He defies authority and conventional morality, and becomes paradoxically ennobled by his peculiar rejection of virtue. The icon of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause is a good example. Byronic heroes are associated with destructive passions, sometimes selfish brooding or indulgence in personal pains, alienation from their communities, persistent loneliness, intense introspection, and fiery rebellion.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?