Study Guide

Lord Byron Exile & Death

Exile & Death

Byron left England for good in June 1816. He went first to Geneva, where he spent the summer with his new lover, an Englishwoman named Claire Clairmont, and her half-sister and brother-in-law, Mary Godwin (soon to be Mary Shelley) and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley and Byron became friends, bonding over their shared love of poetry. Claire Clairmont became pregnant. She gave birth to Byron's daughter Clara Allegra in 1817. Soon after, he tired of Claire, discarding her for a string of lovers that he seemed to regard with general distaste. In a letter to friends Byron listed the names of all the women he'd slept with since he'd been in Italy, concluding "some of them are Countesses - & some of them Cobblers wives - some noble - some middling - some low - & all whores."

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