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  • Published: 26 August 2004
  • ISBN: 9780140424522
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 784
  • RRP: $32.99

Don Juan




Byron's exotic poem on the love life and adventures of Don Juan

Byron's exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, beginning with his illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain and his subsequent exile to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favourite of the Empress Catherine who sends him on to England. Written entirely in ottava rima stanza form, Byron's Don Juan blends high drama with earthy humour, outrageous satire of his contemporaries (in particular Wordsworth and Southey) and sharp mockery of Western societies, with England coming under particular attack.

  • Published: 26 August 2004
  • ISBN: 9780140424522
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 784
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Byron

Lord Byron, born George Gordon Byron on January 22, 1788, inherited the barony in 1798. He went to school in Dulwich, and then in 1801 to Harrow. In 1805 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, later gaining a reputation in London for his startling good looks and extravagant behavior. His first collection of poems,Hours of Idleness (1807), was not well received, but with the publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) he became famous overnight and increased this fame with a series of wildly popular 'Eastern Tales'. In 1815 he married the heiress Annabella Milbanke, but they were separated after a year. Byron shocked society by the rumored relationship with his half-sister, Augusta, and in 1816 he left England forever. He eventually settled in Italy, where he lived for some time with Teresa, Contessa Guiccioli. He supported Italian revolutionary movements and in 1823 he left for Greece to fight in its struggle for independence, but he contracted a fever and died at Missolonghi in 1824.

Byron's contemporary popularity was based first on Childe Harold and the 'Tales', and then on Don Juan(1819-24), his most sophisticated and accomplished writing. He was one of the strongest exemplars of the Romantic movement, and the Byronic hero was a prototype widely imitated in European and American literature.

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