Lord Byron

 I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all

Byron’s reputation as a womanizer is well-known. He was a  free-spirited man whose personal life was filled with scandalous, salacious affairs.

In a Slate article Katha Pollitt writes: In his short life (1788-1824), George Gordon, Lord Byron, managed to cram in just about every sort of connection imaginable—unrequited pinings galore; affairs with aristocrats, actresses, servants, landladies, worshipful fans, and more in almost as many countries as appear on Don Giovanni’s list; plus countless one-offs with prostitutes and purchased girls; a brief, disastrous marriage; and an incestuous relationship with his half-sister. And that’s just the women!

 Edna O’Brien‘s biography of Byron – aptly titled Byron in Love – reveals his multiple romantic and sexual relationships which nourished his poetry. 

 His masterpiece was his satirical epic poem Don Juan in which he reverses the roles of man as seducer to man being seduced by women. In this way, I think his Don Juan would make a great character in a Chandler, Hammett or Dorothy Hughes novel.

Lady Caroline Lamb, one of many of Byron’s lovers and a novelist herself, described Byron as being “mad, bad and dangerous to know.” A true Homme Fatale.   

Lord Byron

Photographer: Eamonn McCabe

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Edna O’Brien

Oops! I accidentally clicked on my own like and apparently there’s no way to undo it…Sniff…sniff

Anyway…here’s the post.

“You have to be lonely to be  a writer,” says Edna O’Brien in an interview with  Jane Martinson of The Guardian regarding her recent memoir Country Girl“You wouldn’t go through the purgatory of writing unless you were a lonely person.”

Edna O’Brien published Country Girls (notice the difference from her memoir Country Girl) in 1930, which was banned in Ireland for its candid treatment of sex.

Author of The Sea, John Banville (2013)  writes in the introduction to her short stories The Love Object  “Here, as so often elsewhere, Edna O’Brien mourns for the plight of her wounded women and at the same celebrates their exuberance, their generosity, and ultimately, their indomitable spirit. She is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time.”

When I first laid eyes on her office a line from The Eagles’ Hotel California came to mind:

Such a lovely place

Edna O'Brien

Photographer: Eamonn McCabe 

Look, she even has a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Or maybe it was this quote of hers:

Writers really live in the mind and in hotels of the soul.

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