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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,070 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is a long poem about a traveling young man who journeys across the world to combat his disillusionment with his own society. Since the title character is a "childe", it means he was a noble who forgoes his destiny back home for the exciting unknown. It's also eerily similar to Lord Byron's own life story, of a man who traveled across Europe to ta ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 12th 2006 by Echo Library (first published April 1st 1812)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,221)
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Nov 19, 2014 Jake rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is my favorite work by Lord Byron. Hands down. No contest. I revisit it often to read favorite sections.

Via the character of Childe Harold, and later simply as himself, Byron explores the world. He visits places like Spain, Turkey, and of course, Greece. He also muses on great historical figures like Napoleon. Think of this as the ultimate road trip epic, set via 19th Century Romanticism. Do you like movies like Easy Rider? This work is in the same vein.

The language is more accessible tha
Aug 28, 2011 Gregory rated it really liked it
Like many literature students, I first encountered Childe Harold in a shortened version. In 2010 I read the last two cantos and I really didn't like it. I still think it is easy to get lost in the language and it is difficult understand what Byron is trying to say, even going over the last two cantos again it was difficult. But after taking my sweet time trying to follow the narrative, I gained a heavy appreciation for this work. I recently read all four cantos and I think the first two cantos a ...more
Nov 09, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
This was the poem that set Byron on his meteoric course as Don Juan bursting into formal Napoleonic London society like a guided missile. Everyone was reading it, from literate serving girls and parlour maids to the top nobs. It's difficult to believe these days that it sent women into fainting fits. But if you exercise a little imagination you can think yourself back into the mindset of two hundred years ago and get a thrill from it even now, and know that you're reading something worth reading ...more
Hands up everyone who, like me, thought that Childe Harold's Pilgrimage was going to be about, oh, I don't know, a young soon-to-be-knight tramping around Europe and going on grand adventures? I feel like there should be a big sign at the end of the book saying, 'HA HA. Sucked in'.

Don't get me wrong, Byron's first major work is absolutely wonderful - just not in the way I was expecting. It's been so long since I've read poetry that I had more or less forgotten the whole point of the Romantics w
Doug D'jay
Jan 09, 2016 Doug D'jay rated it really liked it
Dark at the end. I have found another kindred spirit. I haven't read poetry since high school, and read this to see why the Greeks hold (held?) him in such high esteem. That much is clear. (And the great Ada, who I hope will be my daughters' muse, makes a surprise appearance.)


Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace. Oh, there is sweetness in the mountain air And life, that bloated Ease can nev
Apr 17, 2016 Drew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, romanticism
As soon as I finished reading this, I gave it 4 stars. Having let it sit in my mind for a bit and now as I sit down to write this review, I’m going to change it to 5. The poetry itself (in four cantos) is very good and I’d rate Byron’s work a solid 4. However the notes in the edition I read were spectacular and pushed my rating up. The almost 100 pages of notes include history, social issues, and contemporary commentary. They are written in English, Latin, classical Greek and Italian, and cite p ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Nicolas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Hark! Tyrant Time: ‘gainst thy e’er shrinking spheres -
Thou Cosmarch of an aeon, a year, an hour -
Borne by the raging Mistral, rends and tears
The Canso of one lonesome troubadour:
Byron – whose Soul withstood the awesome Power
Which mighty Empires its black wrath incurred.
Brief flared their frenzied flame, briefer the Giaour;
Worthy their clay, yet worthier his Word
That garlandeth this lay with a Picardy third.
Vincent Blok
Aug 03, 2015 Vincent Blok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De vrijheid van de economie, of hoe de Grieken de vrijheid verkwanselden (Lord Byron, De omzwervingen van Jonker Harold)

Lord Byron’s omzwervingen van Jonker Harold laat zien dat de Griekse onderwerping aan Europa in een lange traditie staat:

“Een bende pummels ringeloort uw land.
De Griek doet niets. Hij scheldt op de barbaar,
maar siddert voor de zweep in Turkse hand,
Een slaaf van wieg tot graf, in woord en daad ontmand” (II: 74).

Byron leert dat het Griekse referendum tegen de Europese schulde
Jun 28, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, english-lit
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none interludes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can never express, yet
Can not all conceal."

(I am currently reading a complete collection of Byron, but as I did with Keats, I'll review the longer works sep
Ira Bespalova
Jan 28, 2010 Ira Bespalova rated it it was amazing
Shelves: had-to-read
Byron is a true genius. That's what I found out after reading this book. He reminded me of Pushkin in some way.
Unfortunately, I read The Pilgrimage in Russian, I'm sure I've lost a good deal. The reason is that I just didn't dare to read it in the original with many archaic words that I would have failed to understand. Nevertheless, even in Russian the book didn't lose its charm!
Together with Childe Harold the book carries you to places like Spain, Greece and Turkey.
It's a breathtaking adventur
May 08, 2016 Kailey rated it liked it
Shelves: weighty-classics
This is an epic poem in four Cantos about a young man, disillusioned with life, who goes on a tour of Europe, reflecting on wars fought in various countries and their histories, and ultimately deciding that life sucks, and there is no love or peace to be found anywhere. (Yay. So it's a happy poem.) There are many references to a hidden emotional pain of Harold's that forced him to leave England and haunts him wherever he goes, marring his enjoyment of life. What that painful secret is, we never ...more
May 22, 2010 rogue rated it really liked it
Beautiful as a work of poetry, and it would be beautiful as a tour guide if I possessed the street knowledge of the time. As a modern reader a lot of the references go right over my head, so if this book were to contain a map with references to the text I'd jump for join.
Jan 21, 2014 Breann rated it really liked it
This poetry was difficult for me to get through. I found it hard to understand, and very time-consuming. I read it for a class, and probably would not have finished reading it if it had not been required. But once we discussed Byron and his poetry as a class, it made much more sense to me, and I am glad I read it!

"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" is an interesting story about Byron's quest of experience and love of nature. It also reveals a lot about Byron himself (his insecurities, his recklessness
Richard Smith
Dec 11, 2015 Richard Smith rated it it was amazing
I came to love this poem and will miss reading it every morning. It has a richness, a Romantic flamboyance that few poets match or would even dare to try to match. Sometimes I was lost, and there were many references that passed me by. But then I would come to a particularly rich stanza and read it again and again. Indeed, I copied out many, and here for your enjoyment are many I copied out:

Poor child of doubt and death, whose hope is built on reeds.

There, thou! –whose love and life together fle
John Redmon
Mar 19, 2016 John Redmon rated it it was amazing
I went into this poem believing Byron to be a hedonistic, nihilistic, genius. After reading, I can't say that I've errored in that view, nor that I've changed my opinion much, but I will allow that I now place far more emphasis upon his singular genius. Cantos I and II are overshadowed by III and IV which are genius. The latter cantos place you deep within the psyche of this man. Poor Byron. He struggled so much with life, yet Harold shows he found humility; humility that hopefully led to some d ...more
Nov 18, 2014 Marios rated it it was amazing
Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marble column's yet unshaken base!
Here, son of Saturn, was thy favourite throne!
Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.
It may not be: nor even can Fancy's eye
Restore what time hath laboured to deface.
Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh;
Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.

But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
On high, where Pallas lingered, loth to flee
The latest re
Beth Roberts
I was looking forward to this -- I loved _Don Juan_ -- but I was disappointed. The first 2 cantos (of the 4-canto poem) are especially annoying, even though they were the making of Byron's reputation. Much consciously antique language and syntax combined with Byron's inchoate sense of what he was trying to do (is this a narrative? a political commentary? a travelogue?) left me struggling to make myself carry on. In the second 2 cantos, written several years later, Byron was clearly in control of ...more
May 09, 2016 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some gems in this (all too long) pilgrimage. The first two cantos are markedly more engaging than the latter two, which drift down the Rhone, through Lac Leman, Venice, and Rome. Byron is at his best when railing against tyranny, praising freedom, or delineating solitary despair; only of secondary note are his apostrophes to every grove or statue in Europe, though even here some moments are remarkable, e.g. the fourth Canto's majestic apostrophe to the Ocean.
Aug 23, 2016 Christian rated it it was amazing
Ever since sixth form in New Zealand I've been a huge fan of Lord Byron. Our English teacher managed to bring Byron alive in a way that no other English teacher I've had has brought a literary figure to life. Thus, reading the whole poem from beginning to end was as much a pilgrimage back to sixth form as it was a pilgrimage for the poet across Portugal, the Aegean and Greece.
The poem is split into four Cantos, and you can either choose to read canto by canto here and there or read the whole th
Alex Pler
"Tú, que fuiste extremado en todo, si hubieses sabido guardar un justo medio, ocuparías todavía el trono, o no lo hubieras escalado nunca."
Oct 07, 2012 Ivana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admired it when I was a teenager. Today not as much. Nevertheless, Byron is a decent poet and that saves this pilgrimage from becoming boring. He is feeling sorry for himself and that borders on boredom, but I don't think that the line is crossed. I guess that depends on personal interpretation. Some parts are quite moving. Not his finest hour, however. My mind is not willing to follow his at times, you know when you just don't care to see all the references. For the time being, I prefer him mor ...more
May 10, 2015 Jemma rated it liked it
A remarkable poetic work, just not one which resonates strongly with me. Essentially, Byron goes on the Grand Tour and rhapsodises about the architecture, landscapes and inhabitants of those areas past and present. Apparently this represents a struggle which gave rise to the Byronic hero but I missed that. Perhaps it is a work best appreciated if footnotes are included.
Mar 30, 2016 Masha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uni-reads
I enjoyed Don Juan waaaaay more, but this one has some dope quotes. I am not so fond of the passive dreamer character he writes, so here's that.
It was great to read the first Byronic hero's peregrinations. However, it was a bit tedious...
Mohammad Alrasheed
مؤسف أن تشوه الأخطاء الإملائية الكثيرة هذا الجمال.
Sep 28, 2015 Vel rated it really liked it
'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
We once have loved, though love is at an end:
The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal,
Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend
Who with the weight of years would wish to bend,
When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy?
Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend,
Death hath but little left him to destroy!
Ah! happy years! once more who would not be a boy?
Jul 24, 2012 CheshRCat rated it liked it
Of course this poem was good (I mean, it's Byron, he can do no wrong in my girlish eyes), but I don't know, I didn't like it as much as a lot of his later stuff. In Don Juan things HAPPEN, if you know what I mean. Childe Harold just kind of wanders around and sighs and looks at things and sighs a bit more. Which is all very well and good, but gets a bit wearing after a while.
Stuart Macalpine
The poetry is there, but it lacks the narrative genius and profound humour of Don Juan, which it outwardly resembles. I don't regret reading it, but it was disappointing if you expect Byron at his best ... Read Don Juan instead is my advice...
míol mór
Edizione scolastica del 1925. Definirlo di seconda mano un grosso eufemismo. D'altro canto pi vecchio dei miei nonni...
Pagato 3 in campo S. Margherita a Venezia.

Testo inglese (con alcune sforbiciate, a discrezione del curatore) e note italiane.
Madeeha Maqbool
Aug 09, 2011 Madeeha Maqbool rated it it was amazing
Byron has got to be one of my most favourite poets, in spite of the fact that I don't really like poetry. Rudeness, combined with talent and the glamour of his real life. What's not to like?
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Everything Litera...: Child Harold's Pilgrimage 1 3 Mar 05, 2012 08:19AM  
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  • Byron: Life and Legend
  • Jerusalem Delivered
  • Osman
  • The Complete Poems
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  • The Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • The Prelude
  • Milton: A Poem (The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Vol 5)
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George Gordon Byron (aka Lord Byron), later Noel, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale FRS was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and r ...more
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“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”
“Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
In solitude, where we are least alone.”
More quotes…