Book Launch at the Art Workers Guild, London, 15 November
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
Robin Byron (13th Lord Byron) interviewed the author, Bernard Beatty, about his book to be published 1 December in the US, and in early January in the UK. This was filmed and is to be added to this site later. It was an open invitation organised by the Byron Society and Liverpool University Press. See the invite here, and below.
The most important thing to do with Byron is to read him rather than read about him. If we do so, argues Bernard Beatty in Reading Byron his third/new book on Byron, we will encounter not only the music and wit of his verse but also what early readers identified as his ‘force’ and ‘thought’.
They took this seriously and so should we. They responded deeply to ‘dark’ elements in his heroes and in his thinking which many twentieth-century readers and critics patronised or ignored. Bernard Beatty agrees that Don Juan is his greatest poem but argues that the force of Byron cannot be fully registered unless we again attend to and find a way of reading his ‘dark’ poems and take his thought seriously.
This book tries to show what such a way might be. This is the heart of the book and it is new but there are some shorter chapters on Byron’s Life and Politics which originated as articles or lectures but have been refashioned for the book.
This is a new and timely approach to reading Byron by someone who has devoted much of his life to reading, writing, and thinking about him.
Literary studies: poetry and poets
1714–1837 (Georgian period)
history of ideas