Frances Wilson

Excess and incest were meat and drink to the Byrons

The poet seems almost tame compared to his forebears, especially the 5th Lord, ‘Devil Byron’, a profligate murderer who ruined the family

George Gordon, Lord Byron. Credit: Getty Images

‘Some curse hangs over me and mine,’ wrote Lord Byron, and thanks to Emily Brand, who is a genealogist, it is now possible to see why Byron was so darned Byronic: excess, incest and marital misery flowed in the bloodstream. The gloom that looked like a Regency pose was entirely pre-programmed; George Gordon Byron’s script was handed to him at birth.

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