Byron had a singular lack of interest in fitting in. It wasn’t that he did it for arguments sake and he never went out to advertise himself as such. He was just followed his own nature. Everyone else did the advertising. He was true to himself no matter how unpopular it made him. An admirable quality despite the carnage he left in his wake. There weren’t too many people sticking their neck out with genuine intent. And so he stood out.
His non conformity in an age where it meant so much pretty much guaranteed him a place in history in one form or another. It also just so happened that he was creative. Those two things are generally good bedfellows.
And he wouldn’t be tricked into a corner either. The women in his life are a very real example of what happens when you try to trap Lord Byron. Equally, the colleagues he cast aside are proof that he wouldn’t be messed around. But he was also generous to a fault putting aside chunks of money for charity and using his status to throw his weight around if he could put it to good use. For all his disconnectedness, Byron did like a noble course, hated injustice and had the best of intentions – whether they were his intentions or someone elses.
His obvious fear of being trapped stretched easily not only to his love relationships but his children who were something that happened because of him rather than to him. And just because they were there, it didn’t mean they had to be bowed to, or thrust upon him. Children were, in truth, often commodities. If you were rich they were bloodline. If you were poor they were another working soul putting food on the table.
And despite Byron’s lamentations when his daughter Allegra (who almost certainly would have grown up to be the female equivalent of him) died, his concerns were too little far too late. And he knew it. He wasn’t cut out for fatherhood. He was too selfish, too introverted, too complicated and far too independent for that. And I suppose too disinterested in continuing the Byron line.
Maybe, had he lived, he would have softened enough to do the right thing. But I don’t think he was cut out for life past 40. I cannot imagine Byron old and not disillusioned by it all. He hated birthdays after all.
You can read my book ‘A Most Faithful Attendant – The Life of Giovanni Battista Falcieri‘ by purchasing it here.