Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The Life and Poetry of Lord Byron with Hilary Bockham

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The Life and Poetry of Lord Byron with Hilary Bockham


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Lord Byron was one of the first ‘Rock ‘n Roll’ heroes of modern times. Join Hilary Bockham to explore his irreverent, hilarious, shocking, and brooding poetry and learn how his work and image launched the concept of the Byronic Hero: handsome, wild, aristocratic, tirelessly sexy, and with a dark secret never to be told. Hold onto your seats: it’s a rocky and quite shocking ride.

Even a brief resume of Lord George Byron’s tragically short life story seems unbelievable: his inheritance of a title at age ten, his travels, his lovers, his shocking affair with his half-sister, his bisexuality (still punishable by death at the time), and his consequent flight from England to Italy. In his own words: “The great object of life is Sensation, to feel that we exist, even though in pain.” His poetry reflects not just his scandalous lifestyle and his wonderfully ironic sense of humor but also his constant fight for justice for the underdog. This last trait finally killed him at age thirty-six, when he died fighting alongside the Greeks for their independence. We will look at how his life and his poetry were inextricably linked. Both irreverent, free, hilarious, mocking of the establishment, fearless, and, it must be said, very sexy.

Led by an expert on art history, Hilary Bockham, this interactive seminar will look at both Byron's life and his poetry. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels to Italy, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the politics and conventions in Regency England, The Grand Tour, and Byron's groundbreaking part in poetry and lifestyle of his times.

This conversation is part of a five-part series on the Romantic poets with Hilary Bockham. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a five-week series.

Hilary has been one of our experts for fifteen years. She was born in England, where she studied Art and Literature and began her career there as an art teacher. A few years later she followed her interest in fashion and costume and became an internationally successful fashion designer. She designed costumes for several international dance companies and was a guest lecturer at several UK Design Colleges. For ten years before her arrival in Italy in 2005, she ran her own Exhibition Services company, providing customized services for Art Galleries and Museums throughout Britain. She specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art in Rome.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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