Author(s): Iris Origo
Teresa Guiccioli was 19 years old and married to a jealous and violent husband when she became Byron's mistress in 1819. Incorporating 116 letters from Byron to Teresa, and some of her answers to him, Iris Origo's fascinating account of Byron's Italian years not only follows the lovers' five-year affair but provides real insight into the labyrinth of Italian social and political life of the time, including Byron's part in the Italian revolutionary movement, which led to his final adventure in Greece. Teresa was Byron's last love, but before the end came, the relationship of these passionate, unstable people - one an English aristocrat and celebrity and the other at the height of Italian society - which involved intermediaries, surveillance, look-outs, spies and bribes, caused a huge scandal. They became political exiles, and, with the affair with Byron serving as an excuse, Teresa's marriage was dissolved by the Pope. The intense focus of this clear and engaging biography, originally published in 1949, results in drama as taut and personal as a novel and will appeal to general readers and students of Byron alike.
A meticulous and at times inspired biographer Spectator A colorful book New York Times A fascinating and sincere biography... a treasure trove... gives off a rich aroma of those fargone and unbelievably romantic days Kirkus Reviews A sublime wordsmith and an astute and passionate observer of human behavior New York Times A fascinating book... an exciting and complex story admirably told -- Clive Bell Spectator
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During WWII, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. Pushkin Press also publishes her war diaries, War in Val D'Orcia, her memoir, Images and Shadows, as well as another of her biographies, Leopardi: A Study in Solitude.