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In obviously autobiographical poems Byron experiments with personae, compounded of his true self and of fictive elements, which both disclose and disguise him.
Groups of verses on a single subject show his understanding of the effectiveness of multiple points of view.
When his literary adviser, the Reverend John Thomas Becher, a local minister, objected to the frank eroticism of certain lines, Byron suppressed the volume.
A revised and expurgated selection of verses appeared in January 1807 as , "By George Gordon, Lord Byron, A Minor," was published in June.
The new poems in this first public volume of his poetry are little more than schoolboy translations from the classics and imitations of such pre-Romantics as Thomas Gray, Thomas Chatterton, Robert Burns, and James Macpherson’s Ossian, and of contemporaries including Walter Scott and Thomas Moore.
Missing were the original flashes of eroticism and satire that had enlivened poems in the private editions that were omitted from .
He is also a Romantic paradox: a leader of the era’s poetic revolution, he named Alexander Pope as his master; a worshiper of the ideal, he never lost touch with reality; a deist and freethinker, he retained from his youth a Calvinist sense of original sin; a peer of the realm, he championed liberty in his works and deeds, giving money, time, energy, and finally his life to the Greek war of independence.
His unrequited passion found expression in such poems as "Hills of Annesley" (written 1805), "The Adieu" (written 1807), "Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England" (written 1809), and "The Dream" (written 1816).He continued to refine these techniques in works from were not excused by a preface that, with pompous mock modesty, pleaded the poet’s youth and inexperience, while disclaiming any intention of his undertaking a poetic career.A second edition, on Byron’s instructions retitled , appeared in 1808; the contents had been altered slightly and the preface omitted.(His half sister had earlier been sent to her maternal grandmother.) Emotionally unstable, Catherine Byron raised her son in an atmosphere variously colored by her excessive tenderness, fierce temper, insensitivity, and pride.She was as likely to mock his lameness as to consult doctors about its correction.
In his dynamism, sexuality, self-revelation, and demands for freedom for oppressed people everywhere, Byron captivated the Western mind and heart as few writers have, stamping upon nineteenth-century letters, arts, politics, even clothing styles, his image and name as the embodiment of Romanticism.