Childe Harolds Pilgrimage by Lord Byron

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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is Lord Byron's longest narrative poem published between 1812 and 1818. It describes the travels and reflections of a world-weary young man looking for distraction in foreign lands. The title comes from the term childe, a medieval title for a young man who was a candidate for knighthood.


(The Life of Lord Byron)
As a child, he was simply George Noel Gordon, born with a clubfoot. His disability made a mark on his personality that he was extremely sensitive. As a child, he was rumored to be molested by his nurse; later on, he developed an affection or idealized love for his distant cousin Mary Duff that he tried to vainly court her. This affection also shaped his paradoxical attitude toward women.
Fate turned on a different road when, at 10, he inherited the title and estate of his great-uncle, the "wicked" Lord Byron. He was brought to England and fell in love with the ghostly halls and spacious grounds of Newstead Abbey. The boy and his mother lived in its ruins for some time. In Nottingham, he was privately tutored, his clubfoot was treated by a quack. An attorney, John Hanson, rescued him from the nurse Mary Gray and from such a situation, that he was brought to London where a reputable doctor prescribed a special brace for his clubfoot.
In 1801 Byron went to Harrow, and in the summer of 1803, he was with his mother in Southwell, near Nottingham. Byron escaped to Newstead and stayed with his tenant, Lord Grey, and courted his cousin Mary Chaworth, who later discriminated him as "that lame boy". This was one of the reasons why Byron soon started writing melancholy poetry. Mary became the symbol of idealized and unattainable love. ...
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