If Lord George Gordon Byron were alive today, he would be photographed getting out of limos and locking lips with the hottest young women - and men. In his life Lord Byron lived large and wild, cultivating a reputation as "Mad, bad and dangerous to know,"1 as one of his many lovers put it. He was famous for his devastating good looks and his scandalous personal life - oh yeah, and for his writing. As the author of poems like Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, The Corsair and Don Juan, Byron was famous in his lifetime as a poet of tremendous talent and lyricism.
Lord Byron was a man of serious contradictions. In public he was determined not to take himself seriously, yet he slept with loaded pistols by his bed. He gorged himself on pleasures and grew disillusioned with all life by his 23rd birthday. He cycled through friends and lovers, tiring of them quickly and pining desperately for those he couldn't have. He lived everywhere and yet was at home nowhere. Do you see how this might a tortured artist make? His was a short, tumultuous and daring life, but his legacy lives on in some of the most beautiful poems in the English language.