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Picture of Byron's Temperament

Byron's Temperament

Essays in Body and Mind

Editor(s): Bernard Beatty, Jonathon Shears
Contributors: Shobhana Bhattacharji, Shona M. Allan, Christine Kenyon Jones, Hermione de Almeida;

Book Description

This volume is the first to draw together, in eight original essays by international scholars, some of the dominant strains in critical thinking about Byron’s temperament and behaviour. Using discourses and paradigms drawn from a variety of disciplines, including literary studies, history of medicine, behaviourism and cultural studies, its contributors explore and synthesise the development of “behavioural strategies” and their impact on his poetic manner.

Studies of the precise relationship of the poet’s body and mind have often placed Byron within some of our modern psychological and medical frameworks without acknowledging that these “diagnoses” are bound up with the complex business of reading and responding to literature. The topic of ‘temperament’ uniquely allows concurrent discussion of body and mind within the context of Byron’s writing, as well as his life. In this sense, the book is primarily literary. Recent scientific or quasi-scientific theory is utilised and not discounted, but the book insists upon the relevance of literary procedures and evidence, broadly understood, which are not dependent upon it and can contribute to, enlarge, or cast doubts upon some of its claims.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-8815-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-8815-X
Date of Publication: 01/04/2016
Pages / Size: 180 / A5
Price: £41.99


Bernard Beatty is Senior Fellow in the School of English at the University of Liverpool and Associate Fellow in the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Byron’s Don Juan (1985), and Byron’s Don Juan and Other Poems (1987). He has edited four collections of essays on Byron and written on Romanticism, the Bible, and aspects of literary theory. His recent publications have focused on Byron and Venice, Shelley and the theatre, and include “Authenticity in Pope, Byron and Newman”, “Victorian bric a brac” (on Robert Browning and Newman) and “Romantic Decadence”.

Jonathon Shears is Senior Lecturer in English at Keele University, and has served as editor of The Byron Journal since 2012. His major publications include The Romantic Legacy of Paradise Lost (2009), Reading, Writing and the Influence of Harold Bloom (2010) and Literary Bric-à-Brac and the Victorians (2013). He has published widely on Byron and is working on a monograph titled Byron’s Voice.