Lord Byron’s Religion - A Journey Into Despair

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Using Byron’s heavily autobiographical poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Cain: A Mystery and Manfred serve in a supplemental capacity), his letters and memoirs, and his biography, this study shows that he was a man haunted and even tormented by his perverse and convoluted relationship with God: a relationship formed during his morbidly dysfunctional childhooud, throughout which he was subjected to a torrent of condemning Calvinist rhetoric.


“…Grounding his research in a thorough knowledge of Byron scholarship and biography, Barton begins his discussion by delineating the features of Calvin’s theology that have received the most attention and emphasis (to the point of distortion) by Calvin’s later followers….a valuable original contribution to the study of Lord Byron’s life and work, well-researched and closely reasoned, providing a much-needed examination of heretofore neglected information vital to the understanding of Byron’s complex and contradictory personality.” – Robert Alan Burns, Professor of English, University of Guam

“…the book is interesting. It is well-thought out and executed. Barton makes a unique contribution to Byron scholarship.” – James Sellmann, University of Guam

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
· Calvinism Sets its “Mark” upon Byron (Introduction to Calvinism, Byron’s Mother, Agnes Gray, Byron’s Teachers and Preachers)
· Byron’s Inheritance: The Dread Legacy of Cain (On the Biblical Figure of Cain, Relationship between Byron and Cain; Cain: A Mystery; Calvinist Influence on Cain: A Mystery
· Byron’s Unrepentant Anger: The Inspiration for a Pilgrimage (Manfred, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage; The “Unknightly” Knight and the Unrepentant Pilgrim)
· Byron’s Exile: A Journey into Despair (Stoicism; Existentialism)
Bibliography; Index

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