Lord Byron: Selected Writings

(Oxford University Press, 2023)

This volume in the 21st Century Oxford Authors series offers readers a generous selection of the poetry upon which Byron’s fame depended and his reputation now rests. It presents the poems in the chronological order in which they were published, working in almost every case from their first appearances in print. 

The Selected Writings include the entirety of Byron’s two best-known works, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Don Juan, but the decision to work book-by-book means that they are presented not as unified works but as evolving serial publications, interspersed with other works published between installments or sequels. Alongside these two major works, wider representation is given to Byron’s lyric poetry than has been typical in modern editions. Furthermore, in keeping with the 21st Century Oxford Authors series, the works are reproduced in something close to their original printed forms. Prioritizing the event of publication over that of composition, this volume offers a version of Byron close to how he would have been known to his original public. With extensive annotations, it emphasizes the social processes by which literary works come to exist in the world, particularly their publication and reception histories. The result is a fresh view of Byron’s literary achievement and an impetus to further reading in the works of this extraordinary creative figure.