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Since poetry is no longer widely read, even towering luminaries like Byron and Shelley are dismissed out-of-hand. Yet lessons gleaned from such famous persons often tower over any other source of wisdom. The greatest 19th century literary hero was George Gordon, Lord Byron. His supposed exploits in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage fascinated the public, making him Elvis-like. Part of his fame lay in his apparent autobiographical verse, whereas his scandalous reputation as a womanizer also won fans, as well as enemies. He left the UK under extraordinary criticism, yet died a revolutionary hero in Greece. Radical poet Percy Bysshe Shelley has long been extolled an extraordinary figure of progress. Instead, Shelley was a monstrously self-absorbed character showing no regard for even his own family, yet always seeking new sex partners. When comparing the two famous poets, Shelley is routinely celebrated, but Byron dismissed as a troglodyte. In fact, it is the latter who emerges as the more humane and thoughtful while the extraordinarily leftist Shelley seems a perverted, ideologically driven beast. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/47575
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