£3 members, £5 non-members At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was home to
£3 members, £5 non-members
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was home to William, 4th Baron Byron – a popular amateur composer and artist – and his teenage wife Frances. But just a few decades later, in the hands of their eldest son William, 5th Baron Byron – known as the ‘Wicked Lord’ – it had become a crumbling ruin. At William’s lonely death in 1798, reportedly mourned only by a swarm of insects, the Abbey fell to his great-nephew: a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen, who the world would come to know as the notorious 6th Lord Byron.
A dramatic and scandal-filled family saga unfolding over three generations, The Fall of the House of Byron reveals how the stage was set for the rise of the nation’s most revered (and on occasion reviled) Romantic poet. Following the lives of three siblings – a flirtatious countess desperately seeking true love, a villainous lord maligned as a murderer, and a navy hero with the century’s most harrowing survival story (the poet’s grandfather) – it offers an exciting and sweeping history of eighteenth-century Britain, through the eyes of a once notorious family who are now shrouded in legend or almost entirely forgotten. Introducing this remarkable dynasty, Emily Brand explores their adventures from Newstead Abbey to the haunted shores of Chile, and how they coloured the life of their most illustrious descendant.
Emily Brand is an author, historian and genealogist specialising in social history and romantic relationships during the long eighteenth century. The Fall of the House of Byron was selected for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, the Sunday Times’s ‘Best Summer Reads’ 2020, and was shortlisted for the Elma Dangerfield Prize.
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***This talk will be recorded. The recording will be available to all those who have purchased a ticket for a limited period of time after the event takes place***
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(Tuesday) 6:30 pm