The thrill of a good conversation

 Lord Byron, Poet

NPR reports on sale of an interesting correspondence. Letters written between Lord Byron and a Priest…

“The British poet Lord Byron is well-known for his flamboyance. He had love affairs with women, men and the occasional relative, and one mistress called him “mad, bad and dangerous to know” — all of which makes his friendship with Francis Hodgson a surprise.

Byron and Hodgson, a clergyman whom the poet met at Cambridge, maintained a spirited, lifelong correspondence through letters. Now, a collection of their letters dating from 1808 to 1821 is up for auction at Sotheby’s.”

 The actual letters
I love this part:
“There’s no doubt that Byron rather enjoyed teasing this rather worthy Christian friend of his, but at the same time, the real warmth that Byron had for this man comes across in all of these letters,” Heaton says…

Heaton says that the last letter in the collection may tell us the most about Byron as a poet. Responding to Hodgson’s idea that a tragic hero is always a good man, Byron dashed off a postscript in which he lists a number of tragedies where the hero was clearly not good — including Paradise Lost.

“This moment of saying Satan is the hero of Paradise Lost, which is a great Romantic point, is pretty revealing,” Heaton says.”

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