In the early 18th century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. By 1800, it was a crumbling and neglected ruin. Amid the wreckage of his inheritance was its dissipated owner, William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the ‘Wicked Lord’. This was the home that a pudgy ten-year-old boy from Aberdeen – who would become the now notorious Romantic poet and adventurer, Lord Byron – inherited in 1798.
The scandalous story of his family’s fall from grace and grandeur over the course of the 1700s takes in elopement, adultery, murder, kidnapping, the ravages of revolution and war, and the century’s most thrilling story of survival against all the odds. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish truth about the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – bled into his life and poetry for posterity.
The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron’s ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen’s clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France.