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Childe Harold: Cantos I - IV by Lord Byron

Childe Harold: Cantos I - IV

by Lord Byron

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This long poetic story is written in four cantos and took Byron eight years to complete. It is a travelogue detailing a young man's quest for new experiences and is said to parallel Byron's own travels through Europe and the Near East. I read it piecemeal, over a period of time after I happened upon a copy at a library sale and I was curious about its interesting name. It was hard for my modern mind to gets its full meaning and scope because I lack so much of the classic grounding that would explain so many of the allusions in the work. Still, I was familiar with some of them and I am glad that I did persevere and complete it. I looked Lord Byron up in my Benet's Readers Encyclopedia. I read that in his many works the protagonist is almost always Byron himself thinly veiled and especially in the lengthy Don Juan, that I will probably never read. I guess I would have to confess that I didn't really enjoy reading Childe Harold. I would like to read and fully understand the works of the ancients, but in reality I usually read rather light literature, not often caring for the more thoughtful writings that are part of my own generation and experience and yet, I will get some of them read because sometimes I do buy books that are a bit above my real interests and intellect just to challenge myself.
  JanetMcK | Sep 19, 2013 |
Byron’s typical hero probably had been invented in the German Romanticism. His features are intelligence, toughness, a high capability to adapt in any conditions, and a certain boyishness both in body and mind.
  hbergander | Dec 12, 2011 |
Long romantic poem, partly autobiographical. The serious counterpart of the satirical Don Juan.
  Fledgist | Jan 2, 2010 |
A "romaunt" in Spenzerian Cantos, written by Lord Byron during his quasi-exile into Albania.
  keylawk | Jan 17, 2007 |
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First words
Oh, thou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, Muse!
Tis to create, and in creating live
A being more intense, that we endow
With form our fancy, gaining as we give
The life we image, even as I do now.
I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs,
A palace and a prison on each hand....
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not conceal.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0766184951, Paperback)

1900. Byron is regarded as the ultimate Romantic and whose name has become synonymous with brooding passion. Although his private life was considered shocking, his poetry was immensely popular and influential, especially in Europe. Childe Harold_s Pilgrimage is considered one his poetic masterpieces. See other Byron works available from Kessinger Publishing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" is Lord Byron at his best-strumming all the right lyrical cords of the hearts of men and women. Byron was a man of his time--faults and all--but who used the literary art to rise above the common lot of aristocrats. Some beautiful excerpts would include "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods/There is a rapture on the lonely shore" or "To such as see thee not my words were weak; To those who gaze on thee, what language could they speak?" There is no better way to feel Byron's craft and the development of his soul and style than by reading "Child Harold's Pilgrimage," a lengthy narrative poem first published in the early 1800's and dedicated to "Ianthe", the term of endearment he used for Charlotte Harley (the artist Francis Bacon's great-great-grandmother). "Child Harold's Pilgrimage" describes the travels and reflections of a world-weary young man who, disillusioned with a life of pleasure and revelry, looks for distraction in foreign lands; in a wider sense, it is an expression of the melancholy and disillusionment felt by a generation weary of the wars of the post-Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras. The title comes from the term childe, a medieval title for a young man who was a candidate for knighthood.… (more)

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