Political hub bub
- Though many people were scathing about Byron's " and livid over "A
Sketch", some foamed at the mouth over "Lines to a Daughter Weeping"
The story is that in 1812 when the Prince of Wales was finally
appointed Regent for as long as the king's illness lasted (the 1811
appointment was for a year only and had to be re ratified in 1812.).
While the king had been ruling, the prince Regent had promised the
Whigs that when he became king, he would put in the Whigs. IN 1812,
the Whigs discovered the truth of the saying "Put not your trust in
princes" when the Regent said he had to do what his father would want
and keep on with the Tories. It is said that when she heard this, that
Princess Charlotte broke into tears.
Some of these other poems made critics wary and there are some who
believe that the marital situation was seized upon to disparage Byron
because those in power feared he might raise a mob against the
government. the poems on Napoleon and with French themes were also
held against him.
Lines on a Daughter Weeping
from the French
On the Star on the Legion of Honour
Ode on the Framers of
> Though many people were scathing about Byron's " and livid over "AThe words Farewell To Thee were somehow omitted from the original
> Sketch", some foamed at the mouth over "Lines to a Daughter Weeping"
message. A quotation mark is all that was left.
- At 10:13 PM 9/1/02 -0400, you wrote:
> some foamed at the mouth over "Lines to a Daughter Weeping"This poem is very strange
Byron insisted that Murray include it in the published version of _The
Corsair_, even though Murray was nervous about it. At that time a
publisher could be imprisoned for sentiments expressed by an author - as
were the Hunts.
_The Corsair_ was Byron's most successful poem, selling 10, 000 copies
immediately (a record not yet surpassed for a poem) which demonstrates
Byron's "name recognition" by 1814. As a result the "Lines" were widely
_The Courier_ ( a Tory paper) dug up all sorts of old scandals about Byron
which continued in other papers for about two weeks. He was called a
rebel, and atheist and a devil.
There was a motion in the House of Lords to impeach Byron - which didn't
come to completion. Lady Melbourne (a former lover of the Prince Regent)
was extremely concerned for Byron.
When _The Courier_ accused him of receiving "large sums" of money for it,
Byron got Dallas (who got the money from Byron's writing) to refute the
claim in the _Morning Post_ (a Whig paper). This started a "paper war"
that exacerbated the whole situation.
The Princess Charlotte received a pre-release copy of _The Corsair_ , but
never mentions "The Lines" in her letter to her best friend (and political
advisor), Margaret Mercer Elphinstone,
"Lord Byron's new & best poem, as he says, was out yesterday, & I had the
first that was issued & devoured it twice in the course of the day. I
thin[k] it quite charming & equal for description to his others. I send it
to you by the post as I cannot resist being the first from whom you will
receive and read it."
(from a letter from the Princess Charlotte to Margaret Mercer Elphinstone
dated Wednesday February 2, 1814)
I find it intriguing that Byron must have told Charlotte that _The Corsair_
was his "best" poem - although there is no record (outside Charlotte's
letters to Margaret) that indicate they ever met.
When Margaret Mercer was dying, many years later, she gave her
correspondence from Charlotte to her daughter telling her that everything
publicly reported about Charlotte's love affair in 1812-1814 was
nonsense. The "powers" had tried to get these letters from Margaret after
Charlotte died in order to destroy them (as they had for all her other
records). The Princess Charlotte was a firm Whig, supporting the end of
the Continental war, Catholic Emancipation and the settlement of the "Irish
Question". Some suspect she had been assassinated. She died 12 hours
after giving birth to a still-born boy child. She was in perfect health
and the autopsy showed no obvious cause of death. The obstetrician
committed suicide by cutting his own throat a few months later.
Augusta Leigh was rewarded with a place at court and an apartment in St.
James' Palace that she retained even after the death of the Queen she
served and of the Prince Regent. Perhaps this was for a service of great
Murray removed "The Lines" from the second edition of _The Corsair_ but
Byron made him put them back in the third edition.
Anne Ridsdale Mott
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