Augusta Leigh : Byron's Half-Sister: A Biography

By: Bakewell, Michael

Price: £12.50

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VGC,Chatto & Windus,2000.First edition-first printing(2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1).Blue hardback(silver lettering to the spine)with laminated Dj(small colour mark,crease and nicks on the laminated cover),both in VGC.Ex-Library book with stamp,pocket,sticker but in VGC.Illustrated with b/w photos.Nice and clean pages with two small ink marks and light shelf wear on the outer edges,a couple of small creases on the edges of the pages.Nice and clean book with light shelf wear.Price un-clipped.438pp including index.First edition.

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Review : Augusta Leigh lived, in the words of the old Chinese curse, through interesting times. The daughter of one of the most scandalous affairs of the 18th century, Augusta herself married the horse-mad Lieutenant-Colonel George Leigh, equerry and companion of the Prince of Wales. Leigh gambled and cheated, falling from grace into poverty and taking his wife and seven children with him. But it is Augusta's subsequent love affair with her half-brother, Byron the poet, that constitutes the most remarkable adventure of her life. This incestuous passion is one of the most famous, or notorious, in literary history: it led to the collapse of Byron's marriage and his exile from England, and remains a scandal even to this day. Byron's wife, Annabella, was a mild-mannered intellectual woman with a taste for mathematics; but she was driven to distracted jealousy by her husband's incestuous liaison and declared of Augusta that there were moments when I could have plunged a dagger into her heart. It is all potent, hot-blooded stuff and the temptation to turn this gripping story into a lurid soap opera would be hard to resist. But the Bakewells do something much more compelling in this excellent biography; their restraint brings out the vividness and emotional complexity of the story better than any previous telling. Only occasionally does the prose become swayed by the passion of the subject--as when Byron and Augusta fall in love, drawn irresistibly closer by a physical attraction that became more electric as each day carried their discovery of one another a little further. Byron himself emerges from the narrative as immature and spoilt to a near-monstrous degree, although the Bakewells try to be understanding (of his psychological torture of his wife they admit that Byron appears no more than an overgrown schoolboy, and add but he was feeling hurt, angry and deeply unhappy and was determined to make someone suffer for it). Byron's wronged wife Annabella, and her lengthy campaign to blacken Augusta's reputation are also well handled, and Augusta herself emerges as a thoroughly compelling character: a deeply nice individual who firmly believed that there was no harm in anything that did not damage others. With a passionate romantic streak running through her warm and easy-going personality, she emerges from this biography as a grounded and likeable human being. --Adam Roberts n nProduct Description nThe first biography of Augusta Leigh for over thirty years, this fascinating account draws on a wealth of new material from archives all over the country. It sheds new light not only on this remarkable and courageous woman, but on Georgian and Regency society and the life of the Court.

Title: Augusta Leigh : Byron's Half-Sister: A Biography

Author Name: Bakewell, Michael

Categories: Biographies & Memoirs,

Edition: First edition-first printing

Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited: 2000

ISBN Number: 0185619754

ISBN Number 13: 9780185619754

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Jacket Condition: Very good

Type: Book

Seller ID: 231

Keywords: Bakewell, Michael Biographies & Memoirs Augusta Leigh : Byron's Half-Sister: A Biography