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Byron's Women

Narrated by: Kris Dyer
Length: 13 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Summary

One was the mother who bore him; three were women who adored him; one was the sister he slept with; one was his abused and sodomised wife; one was his legitimate daughter; one was the fruit of his incest; another was his friend Shelley's wife, who avoided his bed and invented science fiction instead.

Nine women; one poet named George Gordon, Lord Byron - mad, bad and very, very dangerous to know. The most flamboyant of the Romantics, he wrote literary best sellers; he was a satirist of genius; he embodied the Romantic love of liberty (the Greeks revere him as a national hero); he was the prototype of the modern celebrity - and he treated women (and these women in particular) abominably.

In Byron's Women, Alex Larman tells their extraordinary, moving and often shocking stories. In so doing, he creates a scurrilous anti-biography of one of England's greatest poets, whose life he views - to deeply unflattering effect - through the prism of the nine damaged women's lives.

©2016 Alexander Larman (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

My knowledge of Byron was sketchy at best prior to listening to this excellent volume. It is a portrait of Byron through his turbulent relationships with the women in his life. From his incestuous affair with his half sister, to his abusiveness towards his wife, Byron comes across as something of a monster. Very well written, meticulously researched, and equally well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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Review

An extremely well written and researched book. Liked the use of evidence based argument.

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Brilliant

Well researched, in-depth and honest, its odd how you can hate Byron for what he did and yet still admire what he was, but it even more so admire the women who, on the whole, survived him. I real insight into the complex nature of Byron by looking at those he touched...as it were.

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Very interesting

I really enjoyed listening about these women’s lives. They were interesting individuals but, taken as a collective, they showed the breadth of women’s experiences during this time - with the exception of someone happily married! You don’t need to know (or care that much) about Byron to enjoy this. The author strikes a nice balance of Woman v Byron content. He is the thread, and the reason we have so many documents, but he’s not the focus.
This book is sectioned by woman+date and the writing style is such that you could read each section independently. Occasionally when an event or letter, etc is re-referenced in a different section sounds like it’s new info when it’s not - don’t let that confuse you!

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Disingenuous

Eh. Not a terrible book, except the writer keeps discribing everyone as "disingenuous" every ten minutes. I'm thinking of turning it into a drinking game.