|Department:||Department of English.|
|Full text PDF:||http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile131695.pdf|
Although Byron's popularity has been growing in recent years, his writings have a greater significance than has usually been attributed to them. A study of the biographies and articles written about him shows that ihe importance of Byron's influence on the political thought of the nineteenth century has been seriously neglected. It is my aim, in the following chapters, to discuss the political theories which Byron held and to estimate the influence they had on Europe. To present a proper background, it has been necessary to paint a sketchy account of eighteenth-century Europe and a slightly more detailed one of Europe between the outbreak of the French Revolution and Byron's departure for Italy in 1816. In doing this, not only have the historical events been given, but those ideas which were formulating in the minds of the English witers, philosophers, and politicians of the Revolutionary period have also been incorporated. The main body of this study, however, is concerned with the political beliefs of Byron, and here I have turned almost exclusively to the pages of Byron's poetry and letters. As so many other people have done, I have been content, as far as it was possible, to let Byron speak for himself.