Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Byron in Love” as Want to Read:
Byron in Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Byron in Love

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  70 reviews
'Byron in Love' - the nobility, arrogance, and sheer theatre of Byron's life. Edna O'Brien focuses on the diverse and colourful women in Byron's life. Its narrative core is the triangular relationship between him, his wife and his half-sister that brought him timeless notoriety
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by George Weidenfeld & Nicholson
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Byron in Love, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Byron in Love

Will in the World by Stephen GreenblattCharles Dickens by Claire TomalinI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouMemoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de BeauvoirConfessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Literary biographies
67th out of 244 books — 43 voters
Byron by Fiona MacCarthyByron in Love by Edna O'BrienByron by Leslie A. MarchandByron and Greek Love by Louis CromptonByron by Phyllis Grosskurth
Books about Lord Byron
2nd out of 43 books — 4 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 721)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
karen
byron is just not that into you. it doesnt matter what you do - hes just not that into you. he might put his baby in you, but he will leave you as soon as you start going into labor and return later only to shoot bottles in your living room while you strain and bleed to produce a creature he will hardly look at. because he is not into you. he will allow you to risk your life by being his mistress while your husband who has already buried two wives under suspicious circumstances fumes and observe ...more
Carla
Óptimo pretexto para conhecer a personalidade complexa, voraz, brutal, excessiva, obscura e muitas vezes cruel de um dos maiores vultos da literatura mundial.

Edna O'Brien é mestre na separação entre realidade e lenda, baseando a obra na vasta troca de correspondência entre Byron e aqueles com quem se relacionou ou em relatos a seu respeito por parte dos que lhe eram mais próximos.

Mas por incrível que pareça, não poucas vezes a lenda coincide com a realidade, e confirmo que o carácter magnetizan
...more
Jim
O'Brien streamlines the Faustian pandemonium of Byron's erotic and poetic life into a swift, sometimes moving, narrative. I've had Fiona MacCarthy's magisterial biography weighing down my nightstand for a couple months, but the print's too small for tired eyes. Then I found O'Brien's book in a used bookstore. Her account is convincing, if impossible – a larger than life genius, heartless, polysexual, extravagant, an Adonis with a clubfoot whose friends literally fought over pieces of his corpse. ...more
Christia
Until I read O’Brien’s biography, I really didn’t know much about Byron, other than some of his better known poems (She Walks in Beauty is one of my favorites) and his bad boy reputation, but he is a literary figure that I’ve always been interested in, mainly because of his legendary larger than life image. Although apparently Carolyn Lamb’s description of him as “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” is well known, I had not heard it. By the end of the book I realized it was also pretty darn accurat ...more
Jake
Edna O’Brien’s writing style perplexes me. I remember being mystified by it when I read her excellent novel House of Splendid Isolation . I felt this disconnect again while reading Byron in Love. I was impressed with the tightness of the plot and the lack of excess in her prose. The trade off is I tended to feel a bit detached and unemotional while reading this book. At times, Ms. O’Brien’s poise and restraint as a novelist unduly bridled the sauciness of Byron’s story.

When I read Ms. O’Brien,
...more
Andy
Lord Byron was a prolific poet, but perhaps his most lasting contribution to humankind is to demonstrate once and for all that hedonism really isn’t a particularly rewarding lifestyle. Well, sure, who hasn’t wanted to shoot pistols in the dining room and drink wine from human skulls, but thanks to Byron, we know better, don’t we? (O’Brien says that after Byron’s friend Percy Bysshe Shelley died in a sailing accident, his skull very narrowly avoided becoming part of Byron’s drinkware collection.) ...more
Elizabeth
This book should have been really good - the author has a definite flair for the poetic and dramatic and I was rather engrossed by certain parts of this book as much as if it were a novel. It painted Byron in a more unpleasant light than in a tragic rockstar light - I had difficulty feeling sympathy for O'Brien's Byron. I kind of hated him, actually, but he appears to have largely deserved whatever censure and derision he incurred. What hindered the book's ultimate success for me was its lack of ...more
Orna Ross
This biography adds nothing to our knowledge of Lord Byron. With no bibliography or references, it falls short of contemporary academic practice -- which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if O'Brien had brought a novelist's insight and sensibility to the tale. Unfortunately, no.

I can see why O'Brien, the Irish high-queen of florid love, would be attracted to Byron - as man and as writer - and as she was restricting the work to an examination of his behaviour in love (and lust), I expected new
...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
A very short, highly readable book about Lord Byron, largely drawn from letters and other contemporary records. The ending was a let-down because O'Brien had built such a strong picture of Byron's wild and destructive side. She had not built such a documentation of his writing, rather treating the reader as if s/he knew them well already. At the very ending, she sort of let the dichotomies "settle themselves." I still found this an excellent book. One part I would have rather have been expanded ...more
Iris
This book was very dry and disappointing. I stuck with it because I was desperate to hear about the story behind "She Walks in Beauty," and when I finally got to that point in the book there was ONE sentence devoted to it. Soooo incredibly frustrating. The author went into great detail on boring topics, and quickly glossed over the more interesting ones. She also didn't include much of the actual poetry that Byron wrote. I didn't think this book would be an anthology, but I thought there would b ...more
Sarah
Reads like a romp--a quick, breezy, torrid look at Byron's rather active love life. Don't read if you would like to hang onto a view of him as the dreamy romantic hero-poet, a cad maybe, but a dashing, charming, sensitive, misunderstood cad. He sounds here like someone you would totally hate if you knew him. However, I've said it before, I'll say it again: miserable and/or horrible people make for far more interesting biographies than happy, well-adjusted ones.
Irene
This was interesting and not overly generous with the adjectives. Spurred me on to add "Childe Harold" to my "to-read" list. Quite the physically-challenged, evil genius antihero thing going on...

I'd probably have gone on at least one date with Byron, considering some of the other characters I've dated. Byron couldn't have been worse than a one-balled dude on lithium. Heck, at least Byron would've probably written me a little poem...
Shauna Tyndall
The only thing stopping me from giving Byron In Love five stars is that I would have liked to read more about the Byron that wrote love poems, rather than just Byron the madman. And he was mad. With his psychotic outbursts and cruelty he made the lives of many unbearable. I still love him though.
e.a.
I gave up on this book. I will tell you why with a joyously annoyed review when I have the emotional energy for it.

The short of it is: what a petty, shallow gesture of exploration of a person who did not need to seem even MORE petty and shallow.
Tracy Butler
The way this book was written drove me nuts, and to eventually give up reading it altogether. The author should have left the flamboyant language to Byron.
Spring
Among the worst books I have ever read. The text is rambling, disjointed, and filled with grammatical errors and just-plain-ugly verbiage. I am a fan of Lord Byron's work, but this book was so bad that I actually found myself disliking both Byron and the author just a few pages in.

It is fitting that Ms. O'Brien is a James Joyce biographer. "Ulysses" was far more intelligible than this train wreck. Ms. Dorothy Parker could have been describing "Byron in Love" when she said "This is not a novel to
...more
Ohyassi
It was boring, just a laundry list of affairs and debts. With bad grammar.
Martine Peacock
This book jumped off the library shelf at me because though I've heard of Byron, I knew little more than that he was 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' and consorted with his sister, so I thought it was time to find out more. Well, the boy certainly was dangerous to know - he had more cases of the clap than a year's intake at the GUM clinic. If he came strolling through my front door, I wouldn't touch him with a bargepole!

The book was simply unputdownable - but I've a notion this was more to do w
...more
Maria
Edna O'Brien's biography of Lord Byron is the latest of many biographies on the poet. Her reason for bringing us yet one other biography of Byron is, in her words, "to follow him in his Rake's Progress and his "Poet's Progress, playing billiards in an English country house and passing clandestine notes to a young bride under the very watch of her pontifical husband, Sir Wederburn Webster, Byron reading Madame de Stael's 'Corinne' in the garden of his Italian mistress and writing her a love lette ...more
Booknblues
Byron, a rock star of the early 19th century was simultaneously charismatic and repulsive. Byron was on occasion anorexic and because he had a tendency to gain weight would pile on clothing and work out sweating like a pig. He drank prodigious amounts, spent well beyond his means and travel throughout Europe leaving heartbroken ladies swooning in his wake. He had the sexual appetite which would make Wilt Chamberlain appear puritanical. His houses were furnished with a menagerie of creatures, bea ...more
Jennifer D. Munro
A great book for its brevity and a quick overview of Byron's life, but truly one of the worst edited books I have read. In parts of it, I could actually hear the author typing her rough draft notes into the computer--the prose suddenly fell into present tense fragments (and if it was a stylistic choice rather than poor editing, it didn't work for me). Gross mistakes--referring to one character as a cousin on one page and as a nephew later on (I admit, it's hard to keep track of these Byrons, sin ...more
Kara
This was an interesting and brief biography. I grabbed it because I have a huge interest in this part of time: authors and the very important people in general are awesome.

I found that I don't like Byron the man at all. He was cowardly, abusive, incestuous, uncaring and unfeeling. He only realized what he should have done with a lot of the people in his life after they died, which makes it look like he really didn't care anyway.

The writer, Edna O'Brien, was kind of annoyingly snobbish with her
...more
Audacia Ray
Oh, Lord Byron. Sigh.

I was seriously obsessed with Byron, John Keats, Percy Shelley, and Mary Shelley when I was in high school. Why yes, I've seen Gothic about a million times. Also, on my first solo trip to Europe, I visited some of their haunts in Switzerland & Italy, saw Keats' death mask, locks of their hair... I'm a nerd, I know.

There are a number of biographical tomes on Byron, and this is one of the most easily digestible ones. And that's not just because it is normal-book-sized inst
...more
Kim Annabella
The country girls author takes a look into the world of a rather gigantic poet.The word byronic, to this day conjures up sybaritic images of excess, a rebelliousness and a reluctance to answer to anyone.

Byron as a prototype existentialist y/y? In any case I would have loved to be around for some of his more debauched moments.

...


Here is a description of a get together not long after he moved into his ancestral seat, the gothic newstead abbey.

"Be mindful to go there in broad daylight and with your
...more
Carrah
This book on Byron merely skims the surface of the love life of such a Lothario. It mentions STDs, bastard children, and homosexual relationships, but does not highlight the complexities each of these is sure to wreak on Byron. What it does do is go into excessive detail on Byron's mercurial moods, so through the entire work a reader has no choice but to think how horrid of a human being Byron is. If this two-dimensional depiction is to your satisfaction, then this is the book for you to read. I ...more
Shawn
This is a reasonably well-written, yet somewhat pedantic and thankfully short detailing of the disappointingly adolescent lifestyle of Lord Byron. The man who penned such wonderful poetry apparently spent most of his down time as a drunken, drug-addled, selfish, whinging adulterer whose motives never graduated from high school. I'm glad to know his poetry; I wish I didn't know the man. This particular book reads more like a long list of the details of his exploits than an engaging narrative, but ...more
Cialan
Writing was slightly irritating. Lots of endless sentence fragments strung together with commas but that's not what you remember. Byron is like any rich celebrity--only made more famous by his antics. At least he left some good writing behind when he died at age 37.
'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move;
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze--
A fun
...more
Jennifer
You can only hear Lady Caroline Lamb's description of the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron--"mad, bad, and dangerous to know"--so many times before you're to the point of, O.K., tell me everything or let's just stop carrying on about him. Well, this book does just that, and let me tell you, he was very, very bad indeed. Some might say this book verges on the voyeuristic, but I'm not sure where to draw the line with this deliberately outsized Romantic personna who was so publicly naughty and so wil ...more
R.
Ok, so not yet 18 years old, Byron trundles off to his "super excellent" rooms at Trinity College Cambridge with his pet bulldog. The dog proved too viscous, so he replaced it... with a bear! Depite my love for the audadicty, yet I find myself more repulsed than attracted to this man who imposed no limits upon his own behavior. He is the Paris Hilton of the early 19th century and I can't help but speculate that, like her, would have died a poor, obscure, syphilitic, were it not for the fact that ...more
Lauren Albert
As O'Brien portrays him, Byron is quite a repulsive man--vain, cruel, self-centered. The book is fun in a seedy sort of way--but don't read it if you want a complete life of Byron. The author focuses almost entirely (as the title should make you expect) on Byron's love life. My one criticism of the book is that her portrait doesn't really explain the effect he had on people, male and female, who fell for him right and left. Could his looks have really been enough to cause this?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The original rock star 1 6 Feb 19, 2010 11:49AM  
  • Byron: Life and Legend
  • Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame
  • Shelley: The Pursuit
  • Keats
  • Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry's Greatest Generation
  • The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein
  • Mary Shelley
  • Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde
  • Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead
  • Tolstoy: A Russian Life
  • The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys
  • Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury
  • Death and the Maiden: The Death of Fanny Wollstonecraft
  • Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
  • Selected Letters
  • Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney
  • A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster
  • Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style
7184
Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), an award-winning Irish author of novels, plays, and short stories, has been hailed as one of the greatest chroniclers of the female experience in the twentieth century. She is the 2011 recipient of the Frank O’Connor Prize, awarded for her short story collection Saints and Sinners. She has also received, among other honors, the Irish PEN Award for Literature, the Ulysses Me ...more
More about Edna O'Brien...
The Country Girls The Country Girls Trilogy In the Forest Country Girl House of Splendid Isolation

Share This Book