Academic journal article The Byron Journal

The Geometry of Love: The Marriage of Lord Byron. a Play

Academic journal article The Byron Journal

The Geometry of Love: The Marriage of Lord Byron. a Play

Article excerpt

THE GEOMETRY OF LOVE: THE MARRIAGE OF LORD BYRON. A PLAY. By Peter Dunne. London: Samuel French, 2005. Pp. viii + 74. ISBN 0-573-11177-4. £7.75.

This four-act drama was first performed at Baron's Court Theatre, London, in October 2004. As its title suggests, it portrays the private life of the poet in the years 1812 to 1816. The action shows Byron's pursuit by his discarded lover Caroline Lamb, his courtship of Annabella Milbanke, his (supposed) incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh, the subsequent breakdown of Annabella's and Byron's marriage and the negotiations over their divorce. Finally threatened with the exposure of his past homosexuality and sodomy, and harassed by debt, Byron is forced to leave England.

Dunne, whose previous play dealt with Oscar Wilde's exile in Paris, has provided a wellresearched and densely plotted script that contains moments of comedy as well as pathos. For example, as Annabella screams in childbirth off-stage, the debt collector and bailiff, Abbey, repossesses books from Byron's library but offers to leave the poet either '"The Complete" Works by William Wordsworth' or 'Mrs Austen a "Bride of Prejudice"'. However, for those familiar with Byron's life story, The Geometry of Love will bring few new insights; it enacts the events without offering any understanding of why the poet and those around him behaved as they did. …

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