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Glorious Apollo

“In all her memories she could find no man so winning, and so unwon”

Glorious Apollo ~ E Barrington 

Firstly, this book has taken me more time to finish than usual. Not only because it gets slightly tiresome towards the end but also because I have literally moved continents over the last week! I have managed to pack up my whole life and move to Dublin.

Now, for the book. I was immediately overwhelmed by a fan-girl gush of excitement when I read the blurb. If you are a fellow English Literature student like me or have just had the inclination to read poetry growing up; you will know the influence that Lord Byron has had on the Romantics (a pathetic attempt at describing to you who Byron is). Glorious Apollo is in a nutshell, a look into his private affairs. Pretty much as good as watching an episode of ENews where they air out some of that delicious dirty laundry of your favourite Hollywood heartthrob.

I was armed with very little background information going in however, I knew Byron was bewitchingly handsome but I was unaware of the extent of his vanity. The book is written mostly from the perspective of the women he “ruined” so as to speak. His wife, sister and his many mistresses are the subject of this examination into what gave fuel to the legend of this chauvinistic, slightly insane but remarkably great poet who took the whole of Europe up by storm because of his genius and his lifestyle.

Byron: Look at me I am gorgeous and I sit here charming you with my poetry and the air of mystery I create by being sulky

Women: Oh Byron! Your pale English countenance and bitterness is entirely forthcoming. Excuse me, while I go powder my nose for you

Byron: You better. Also, pick up the handkerchief you dropped on your way out. I’m not going to bother myself with it

Why you should read it:

  • If you are or ever have been interested or affected by his poetry
  • The book details out the chronology and history behind most of his famous works
  • It is written from a woman’s perspective

Why you shouldn’t read it:

  • If you don’t know of Byron or he has never interested you, the book will pretty much come across as a one-sided tale of wronged women
  • Most of the story can be told in a few chapters alone, the book starts to seem long winded very soon
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