On a Voiceless Shore: Byron in Greece, by Stephen Minta, hardcover (very good condition)
In April 1824, at the age of thirty-six, George Gordon, sixth Lord Byron, died in a wretched Greek town while fighting for Greece in its struggle for independence. What was it that took this man - brilliant poet, as even his fiercest detractors admitted, rakehell, and gadabout - to so commit his life and his soul to a struggle so far from his native shores?
For many of Byron's biographers, Greece represents a mere passage, episodes worthy of mention but empty of meaning. For Stephen Minta, himself a lover of the complexities of this country, Greece - emotionally, physically, creatively - features hugely in any attempt to understand Byron.
"If I am a poet," Byron wrote, "the air of Greece has made me one." Perhaps unique among his generation, Byron loved Greece the way he found it - a land of sensations, of sun and sea and light, but also a place of irritations, of frustration, duplicity, and cruelty. If his fellow countrymen saw in Greece only antiquities, monuments reinforcing a classical education, Byron saw life in all its aspects: grief and despair as well as delight and sensuality. The people of Greece, in all their variety, drew him in, and eventually he made their cause his own. What began as a tourist's expedition grew into a love affair compelling enough to enlist his fortune - and his life.