(now rebloggable by request!)
yes. yes i could.
this handsome-ass motherfucker is george gordon lord byron, romantic poet, ladies’ man, lords’ man, greek national hero, and all-around beautiful fuckup. yes, he’s dead. yes, he’s wearing a laurel wreath. yes, those bedsheets are artfully draped as fuck. don’t question it. this shit happens.
in january of 1816, byron’s wife left him, mostly because he was pretty terrible to her. a former lover of byron’s, lady caroline lamb, decided that this was a fabulous opportunity to ruin his life. (lady caroline lamb was… a lot like byron, actually. she liked to dress up as a dude, which byron found sexy as fuck, and be scandalous, which byron… also found sexy as fuck. after she and byron broke up, she made a huge bonfire in the english countryside, in which she burnt portraits of byron and things he had given her. then she had local village girls dance around said bonfire, singing a song of her own composition. contrary to popular belief, this song was not “we are never ever getting back together”.)
byron had told ms. lamb quite a lot of things he shouldn’t have; the most pertinent were that a) he was getting it on with a fuckload of dudes and b) he was also getting it on with his own half-sister, augusta. caroline lamb, being caroline lamb, told byron’s newly estranged wife. at which point the sodomy and incest made it into the divorce papers. at which point the entirety of england was suddenly talking about it.
soooooo amidst a cloud of scandal byron swanned off to switzerland with a cute young doctor (though not before throwing a goodbye party of viking proportions, which actually involved a cup made out of a real human skull that he had found on his grounds) and settled in a gorgeous house by a lake to do some artful lounging.
while byron had been sleeping with everyone in sight, percy shelley and mary godwin had been having troubles of their own. mary’s dad was a leftist radical, but wasn’t a big fan of his political followers (i.e., percy) coming around to sleep with his daughter. percy and mary did not give a fuck, and proceeded to make out on mary’s mother’s grave. this is literally true.
unfortunately, percy was already married, so he and mary proceeded to fuck off to switzerland with mary’s stepsister claire clairmont, whereupon they got their own house by the lake and decided to make friends with their new neighbor.
so, among byron, his doctor, percy, mary, and claire— well, mary and claire were not sleeping together, and i’m pretty sure the doctor was only sleeping with byron? but. apart from that.
other interesting events of those months were mary shelley inventing science fiction, byron hypnotizing the doctor into jumping off a balcony, and the doctor and byron sort of accidentally co-inventing what would become dracula.
it was a hell of a summer.
anyway, byron proceeded to get claire pregnant, and percy’s first wife died, and the doctor got pissy about being generally left out of everything fun and went back to england, and everyone sort of wandered over to italy and almost got arrested a few times, and then byron stole his baby from claire and stuck it in a convent, where it died.
then percy got caught in the middle of a storm and died, dramatically, and they burnt his body on the beach. mary got to keep his heart, which remained unburnt. they found its remains among her belongings when she died at the ripe old age of 53. it was very romantic. capital r.
and then byron decided it would be a great idea to help liberate greece from the turks, so he went to greece and got stuck in the middle of a fucking swamp doing literally nothing except giving people money and being sexy in order to get other english people to give greece money. and then he caught some fucking swamp disease, and his doctors were terrible, upon which he died.
there’s more— byron’s fake gay autobiographical poem, percy’s fondness for explosives, mary’s sassy feminist mother— but this has gotten long enough. i sure hope it’s been helpful, though!