Letters Reveal Byron's Feud With 'Turdsworth'

Unpublished correspondence up for sale

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 28, 2009 8:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – A collection of letters written by Lord Byron to a clergyman, some of them unpublished, sheds new light on the Romantic poet—who discloses his sexual escapades with servants and angry opinions of fellow writers. Several letters refer to a serving girl whom he took as his mistress; he dumped her after discovering she was unfaithful, even though he was, too. He also writes of his admiration for the Albanian pasha's hundreds of women and boys, "and very pretty creatures they were."

Byron's correspondence also reveals his disgust with fellow poet William Wordsworth—or "Turdsworth," as he nicknames him—calling him a "renegado rascal" after a literary dispute. The letters, bought in 1885 by the Earl of Rosebery, who later became Britain's prime minister, are up for sale at Sotheby's.

One of the most important collection of letters by Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, is coming up for sale.
One of the most important collection of letters by Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, is coming up for sale.   (Getty Images)
Lord Byron corresponded with a clergyman about his sexual escapades and his travels.
Lord Byron corresponded with a clergyman about his sexual escapades and his travels.   (Getty Images)
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