Lord Byron - The Major Works Paperback
Edited by Jerome J. McGann
Part of the Oxford World's Classics series
This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode.
It brings together a unique combination of Byron's poetry and prose - all the major poems, complemented by important letters, journals, and conversations - to give the essence of his work and thinking.
Byron is regarded today as the ultimate Romantic, whose name has entered the language to describe a man of brooding passion.
Although his private life shocked his contemporaries his poetry was immensely popular and influential, especially in Europe.
This comprehensive edition includes the complete texts of his two poetic masterpieces Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan, as well as the dramatic poems Manfred and Cain.
There are many other shorter poems and part of the satire English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. In addition there is a selection from Byron's inimitable letters, extracts from his journals and conversations, as well as more formal writings.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 1120 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 11/09/2008
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9780199537334
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by AlanWPowers
Byron has been my favorite Romantic poet--as he was during the Romantic period--since I have been able to read with ease (say, since grad school).His "English Bard and Scotch Reviewers" sets the standard for English Satire since Jonson and Dryden. It is very funny at the expense of an intellectual elite much less doubtful than ours today. We need another Byron.His "Don Juan" is without equal in English literature; maybe Ariosto's similar in Italian, though I think Byron more witty, finally.Byron's, and his Don Juan's, main literary legacy is the greatest of all Russian poems, ??????? ??????. I have read perhaps one-fourth of Pushkin's great work in Russian, and it has struck me as a cross between Byron and Wordsworth.Since I have spent many hours translating Latin and Renaissance Latin, I admire Byron's exact critiques of classical poets like the epigrammatic satirist Martial--"the nauseous epigram of Martial" according to Don Juan's/ Byron's mother.I could add much, but it gets late/early.
Review by LisaMaria_C
I have a friend who says she ranks Lord Byron above all the English Romantic poets--even above Keats. I can't agree, even though reading through this I understand why she would. She thinks Keats sometimes overwrought. I don't agree really. What can I say, he sings to me. The only poem of Keats I don't like is <i>Edymion</i>, his one epic poem, and one even Keats admitted was problematic. Even that has lines to relish: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."Not that there aren't some gorgeous verse of Byron that can rank with the best of Keats--Byron's most famous poem arguably is "She Walks in Beauty"--notably it's short. As are almost all the other poems of his I'd count as favorites: "Darkness," "Prometheus," "Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte," "We'll Go No More a-Roving." "By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept," "I Would I Were a Careless Child." Byron is a more varied poet than Keats; Byron wrote in an astonishing variety of forms and lengths--I have to give him snaps for that. But maybe because of that experimental quality, unlike with Keats, I found a lot more hits than misses with Byron. To me Byron too often wore out his welcome at longer lengths. There was an exception though, and one that goes to the heart of his appeal--to me and to my friend. That poem was his epic <i>Don Juan.</i> It was funny, snarky, catty, witty, and like Dante, Byron is not afraid to take things to a personal level with personalities he knew--have a stanza:<i>He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursuedHis self-communion with his own high soul,Until his mighty heart, in its great mood,Had mitigated part, though not the wholeOf its disease; he did the best he couldWith things not very subject to control,And turn'd, without perceiving his condition,Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician.</i>My friend thinks Keats all too earnest. And I admit there's something charming and refreshing in a Romantic poet that doesn't take things too seriously, that has a sense of humor. On the other hand, <i>Don Juan</i>, his comic masterpiece, remained uncompleted at his death. And I can't say I can put it up there quite with the epic poems I've loved, the works of Homer, Vergil, Dante--even Milton for all his flaws. I do recommend giving Byron a try. His poems deserve to be better known, and he deserves to be better known than the poet of just "She Walks in Beauty" and the man known as "mad, bad and dangerous to know."