440. Lord Byron: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (Part 1)

Few lives from history can have contained as many strange and exciting strands as that of Lord Byron's, whose story reflects the great dramas of the Napoleonic era. A vampiric hero of devilish charisma; a martyr for liberty, a licentious lothario; Byron’s cultural and literary impact cannot be underestimated. The remarkable course of his life, and his mercurial nature can in part be explained by the dark events of his childhood, and the outlandish history of his own family. Born with a club foot - his “satanic mark” - to “Mad Jack” Byron, a former gigolo dogged by incest and financial ruin, and an unpredictable mother, a strange curse seemed to lie over the family. Impoverished before the inheritance of his title and a romantic ruin in Nottinghamshire, the plump and provincial boy would finally find solace at school and university, where he transformed into the glamorous rake he would become. There too would he discover the dubious sexual passions that would haunt his life… Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the diabolic history of the Byron family, and the young Byron’s birth, troubled upbringing, and controversial adolescence. *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024* Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London! Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com Twitter: @TheRestHistory @holland_tom @dcsandbrook Producer: Theo Young-Smith Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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The world’s most popular history podcast, with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook. Join The Rest Is History Club (www.restishistorypod.com) for ad-free listening to the full archive, weekly bonus episodes, live streamed shows and access to an exclusive chatroom community. Here are some of our favourite episodes to get you started: WATERGATE/NIXON apple.co/3JrVl5h ALEXANDER THE GREAT apple.co/3Q4FaNk HARDCORE HISTORY'S DAN CARLIN apple.co/3vqkGa3 PUTIN & RUSSIA apple.co/3zMtLfX