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Edna O'Brien
'Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life' by Edna O'Brien
'Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life' by Edna O'Brien

Happy the poet whose life and work remain so well-remembered that his name becomes an adjective. George Gordon Byron, sixth baron of that title, is certainly a poet who stands in that rarefied company, though it's hard to believe that even the linguistic laurels represented by the now commonplace modifier "Byronic" would have made this protean artist and contradictory -- frequently appalling -- man content for very long. Edna O'Brien, the distinguished Irish writer, is Byron's latest biographer, and she defines "Byronic" as denoting "excess, diabolical deeds and rebelliousness." It also connotes a certain impetuous and passionate intensity,...

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