The English Romantic poets have remained popular even as poetic styles and fashions have changed. The poetry of Lord Byron is still widely admired and many collections exist. For example, The Poetical Works of Byron, Cambridge edition, is more than a thousand pages despite its use of a moderately small font. Byron was clearly a prolific poet.
How does one create a small gift edition of Lord Byron's poetry? This little edition, titled Lord Byron, offers a small sampling of Byron's poetry that is quite good. It is a thin, hardcover book of sixty-one pages and is slightly taller and wider than a standard paperback. Twelve pages are devoted to paintings appropriate to the individual poems. The font is large and easy to read. The format is attractive and suitable as a small gift.
The editor, Peter Porter, argues that much of the longer poetry of Lord Byron is actually his best. Accordingly, Porter offers short selections from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, The Island, The Vision of Judgment, Beppo, and Don Juan. The smaller poems include Adrian's Address to His Soul When Dying - She Walks in Beauty - So, We'll Go No More a Roving - Martial, Book 1, Epigram 1- On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year.
In a three page introduction Peter Porter provides an intriguing look at the fascinating life of Lord Byron. It can easily be argued that Byron's remarkable, and sometimes notorious exploits, have come to symbolize English Romanticism.
Explanatory footnotes are not provided, but are seldom needed. A few references to Greek mythology and a few archaic poetic terms may not be familiar, but most readers should not have any particular difficulty with the poems in this short collection. This attractive, little book can serve not only as an introduction to Lord Byron's poetry, but also an inducement for the reader to become more familiar with English Romantic Poetry.