George Gordon Byron was born in 1788, the son of the profligate Mad Jack Byron, and succeeded to the title in 1798, moving to the family seat of Newstead Abbey. He attended Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a poor scholar, preferring boxing, the low life, and poetry, publishing his first volume of poems in 1806. In 1809, at 21, he embarked on a grand tour of Europe.
On his return, he married the dour Annabella Milbanke who had his daughter, Augusta, in 1813. The marriage broke down a year later, and Byron went abroad, never to return to England. Living in Geneva with Percy Shelley and friends, Byron had an illegitimate child, Allegra, through his affair with Claire Clairmont. Shortly afterwards he travelled to Italy, meeting the married Countess Teresa Ganba Guiccioli.
In 1823 he left Genoa for Cephalonia to help the Greeks in their struggle for independence from the Turks. Whilst there, he contracted Marsh fever and died at Missolongi on April 19th 1824. In this production, Lord Byron is played by Robert Powell. Download and start listening now!