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Don Juan (1826)

by Lord Byron

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,6202010,756 (3.89)85
Classic Literature. Fiction. Poetry. HTML:

In his satiric poem Don Juan, Lord Byron refigures the legend as a man easily seduced by women, rather than as a dangerous womanizer. When the first two cantos were anonymously published in 1819, they were criticized for being immoral. They were also immensely popular. Byron only completed 16 cantos, leaving the 17th unwritten when he died in 1824. Don Juan is commonly considered to be his masterpiece.

.… (more)
  1. 11
    Asimov's annotated Paradise lost by John Milton (JessamyJane)
  2. 00
    Byron's narrative of the loss of the wager by John Byron (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Byron obviously knew his grandfather's Narrative and drew some inspiration from it for the shipwreck episode. Quite apart from that, John Byron's harrowing and haunting tale still makes a fine read.
  3. 00
    Asimov's annotated "Don Juan" by Lord Byron (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Asimov's annotated Don Juan is unfortunately scarce and expensive. But worth having by any true aficionado of the greatest comic epic in the language. Asimov's annotation is at once more extensive and more accessible than what Byronic scholars have to offer.
  4. 01
    The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning (Algybama)
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» See also 85 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Bloody great book. I think a lot of people don't realize that as a poet/writer Byron was in a sense closer to 18th century satirists like, say, Swift than he was to his Romantic so-called cohorts ... and yet he's often considered some kind of "arch"-Romantic. Naah. His great talent, I'd say, was a comic one, and it's in Don Juan -- even unfinished as it is -- that this comic genius burns most brightly. It isn't just the funny-as-hell "Hudibrastic" rhymes he often employs, it's ... oh, hell, he was just such a funny damned bastard. Mean, spiteful, but funny. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Mar 2, 2023 |
While this isn't complicated to read, this is one long poem. This might be my favorite out of all Byron wrote. I love the langue and how he wrote the poem. Keep in mind this is a satire on epic poems. While I didn't find this funny, it was cleaver and witty. ( )
  Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
So much better than I remembered from college. The rhymes, humor, and slights. Life may certainly be not worth a potato when you are looking for a rhyme for Cato. A fun novel length poem ( )
1 vote evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
This was tremendous fun to read. Byron's personality infuses the work and he's a likable, open-hearted narrator. It's a picture of England just before the clouds of Victorian prudery turned love from a game to a chore. It also has a strong anti-war subtext that I wasn't expecting. A great read and a real surprise!
( )
2 vote le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
One of my favorite works of poetry. Fantastic. A man's poet. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
In spite of its romantic trappings Don Juan is as "true" as anything by Maupassant or Chekhov or Somerset Maugham, and the reason is Byron's infallible sense, as his style matured, for the immediacy of a situation and of those taking part in it. In the midst of Eastern local color, which could be as vapid as Lalla Rookh, the oriental tales in verse by his friend Thomas Moore, he has a Shakespearean sureness for the touch that makes all live...

Wherever Juan goes, even into the kitchen where he sees "cooks in motion with their clean arms bare," his creator seizes on the vital impression. Though Byron in fact corrected lavishly, and had second or third thoughts like any other writer, it remains true of him, as he said, that when composing he was like a tiger, which if it misses its first spring goes growling back to the jungle.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Review of Books, John Bayley
 

» Add other authors (141 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lord Byronprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Austen, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kronenberger, LouisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manning, Peter J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marchand, Leslie A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratt, W. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steffan, EEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steffan, Truman GuyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolfson, Susan J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Bob Southey!
First words
I want a hero: an uncommon want, when every year and month sends forth a new one, Till, after cloying the gazetts with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one; Of such as these I should not care to vaunt, I'll therefore take our ancient frien Don Juan--We all have seen him, in the pantomime, Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.
Quotations
But--Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual, Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck'd you all?
What are the hopes of man? Old Egypt's King Cheops erected the first pyramid And largest, thinking it was just the thing To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid; But somebody or other rummaging, Burglariously broke his coffin's lid: Let not a monument give you or me hopes, Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.
There's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in, Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.
A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse, Or, being mounted, e'er got down again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Poetry. HTML:

In his satiric poem Don Juan, Lord Byron refigures the legend as a man easily seduced by women, rather than as a dangerous womanizer. When the first two cantos were anonymously published in 1819, they were criticized for being immoral. They were also immensely popular. Byron only completed 16 cantos, leaving the 17th unwritten when he died in 1824. Don Juan is commonly considered to be his masterpiece.

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Book description
Byron’s exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, beginning with his illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain and his subsequent exile to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favorite of the Empress Catherine who sends him on to England. Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byron’s Don Juan blends high drama with earthy humor, outrageous satire of his contemporaries, and sharp mockery of Western societies, with England coming under particular attack.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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