Long, fascinating article in the Daily Beast, (2.16.14) of all places, about "Lord" Byron. It relates Byron to the international politics of our day. Excerpt:
It’s certainly true that he exhibited one of the hallmarks of the 19th century Orientalist: the frisson he experienced in the Near East was mostly sexual. “I am dying for the love of three Greek girls at Athens, sisters,” he wrote his friend Henry Drury in 1810. “Teresa, Mariana, and Katinka are the names of these divinities—all of them under fifteen.” (Teresa inspired the poem “Maid of Athens, Ere We Part.”) But even amid such dissipations, there was powerful paradox at work in Byron’s character: the spoiled, aristocratic posturing, luxurious living, and reckless sport-fucking competed with a core seriousness founded on a hatred of injustice and a sincere internationalism.
Unlike British radicals of more recent vintage, Byron was profoundly pro-American despite never having traveled to the constitutional republic he thought a model for all civilized nations, including his own. He associated the “first tidings that have ever sounded like Fame” not with his domestic critical reception (far from adulatory) but with hearing that his poems were now read on the banks of the Ohio River.