Tuesday, 8 July 2014

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know"

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know":  it is said that this was Lady Caroline Lamb's description of  Lord Byron (1788 - 1824), and it's been described as his "lasting epitaph".

I attended a lunch reflecting on Lord Bryon's life and times.   In the course of a fascinating and insightful discussion, the proposition was advanced that had Byron not died when he was 35, there would have been nothing else for him to achieve in life!

The times in which he lived were, of course, tumultuous, and perhaps contributed to a "live for the moment" attitude.

Byron opposed Lord Elgin's removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece, and "reacted with fury" when Elgin's agent gave him a tour of the Parthenon, during which he saw the missing friezes and metopes. His poem, The Curse of Minerva,  was written to denounce  Elgin's actions.

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