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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 06 January 2011

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Byron's poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

In 1812 the 24-year-old Lord Byron published the first part of a long narrative poem. It caused an instant sensation. "I awoke one morning and found myself famous", wrote Byron in his memorandum book, and the first edition sold out in three days. The poem narrates the life of an aristocrat on a grand tour of Europe. Its central character is the first Byronic hero, a flawed but charismatic young man modelled on the poet.

As well as offering a self-portrait of Byron as a young man, Childe Harold is a fascinating snapshot of Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century, a place ravaged by revolution and war; the poem also gives us an insight into the political and intellectual concerns of its author.

With:

Jonathan Bate
Professor of English Literature at the University of Warwick

Jane Stabler
Reader in Romanticism at the University of St Andrews

Emily Bernhard Jackson
Assistant Professor in Nineteenth-Century English Literature at the University of Arkansas.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

  • FURTHER READING

    Emily A. Bernhard Jackson, ‘The Development of Byron’s Philosophy of Knowledge: Certain in Uncertainty’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

    David Hume, ‘A Treatise of Human Nature’ (Dover Publications Inc.; New edition, 2004)

    John Locke, ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’ (Adamant Media Corporation, 2000)

    Mark Storey, ‘Byron and the Eye of Appetite’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 1986)

    Leslie Marchand, ‘Byron: A Portrait’ (Pimlico, 1993)

    Jerome McGann, James Soderholm (ed.), ‘Byron and Romanticism’ (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

    George Gordon, Lord Byron, ‘Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals’, Ed. Leslie Marchand, 12 vols. (London: Murray, 1973-82)

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