Day of celebration for Byron – in Greece
The Guardian reports today that Lord Byron has won the belated honour of a ‘day of celebration’ in the country he romanticised, Greece. It will fall on April 19, the date Byron died in 1824 at Messolonghi in Western Greece. It’s more recognition than he has won in his home country – where we don’t seem to honour writers at all. Even Shakespeare’s (supposed) birthday and date of death, 23 April, is honoured rather as St George’s Day. The paper points out that it took until 1969 for Byron to receive any commemoration in Westminster Abbey, having been too scandalous to be buried there.
Byron urges social networking safety code: but is it the poet’s own work?
Has the enfant terrible turned into a Daily Mail reading Conservative? Byron, who wrote so contemptuously of the Poet Laureate in Don Juan?
Although ‘t is true that you turn’d out a Tory at
Last, – yours has lately been a common case.
It turns out that the headline in today’s Guardian: ‘Byron urges social networking safety code’, is all about teaching children to use the Internet safely. It’s a report by Dr Tanya Byron and is full of sensible advice, though regular reference to what ‘Byron says’ are a little disconcerting to those of us more familiar with the poet. Can you image George Gordon Noel, Sixth Baron Byron, that scourge of conformity and convention, writing: ‘Byron has also recommended a code of practice to cover the moderation of user-generated content’? No, I thought not.
‘Celebrity scandal seems much more his line, whether creating it himself or writing about it at the expense of his enemies. It turns out that, according to another article on the Guardian website today, this is just what today’s teenagers enjoy reading. The list of their best and least loved reading matter makes fascinating reading itself. Number 4 on the ‘Most loathed reads’ list is ‘Magazine articles about skinny celebrities’; top of the ‘Most loved reads’ list is: ‘Heat magazine’. Strangely, as the journalist cannot resist pointing out, ‘the cover and pages six to 12 of this week’s favourite read Heat are devoted to the subject’ of skinny celebrities. But whoever expected teenagers to be consistent?
More on Byron – the poet – here.