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London Review of Books: His Own Dark Mind, Clare Bucknell

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

His Own Dark Mind - Clare Bucknell

Reading Byron: Poems – Life – Politics by Bernard Beatty. Liverpool, 266 pp., £90, January, 978 1 80085 462 8

Byron and the Poetics of Adversity by Jerome McGann.

Cambridge, 214 pp., £19.99, December 2022, 978 1 009 23295 1

Byron’s ‘Don Juan’: The Liberal Epic of the 19th Century by Richard Cronin. Cambridge, 248 pp., £85, June, 978 1 009 36623 6

Byron​ knew just how good Don Juan was. Part way through the poem’s ninth canto, drafted in Pisa in the summer of 1822, he takes a break from a digression on Pyrrhonian scepticism to assess how things are going:

’Tis time we should proceed with our good poem, For I maintain that it is really good, Not only in the body, but the proem, However little both are understood Just now, – but by and by the Truth will show ’em Herself in her sublimest attitude: And till she doth, I fain must be content To share her Beauty and her Banishment.

[This is an excerpt from Clare Bucknell's essay in the London Review of Books, on three new books on Byron, find it in full here.]

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