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The Fall of the House of Byron


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About the Author

Emily Brand is an author, historian and genealogist specialising in social history and romantic relationships during the long eighteenth century. She has written for The Times, The Telegraph, the Radio Times and the Washington Post, and previously worked as an editor of history and classic literature for Oxford University. The Fall of the House of Byron was selected for BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week and the Sunday Times 'Best Summer Reads' 2020, and shortlisted for the Elma Dangerfield Prize.


Brand has written a delectable biography and, while she never exalts the family, she can't help but be moved by that Byronic lust for life - even when it is thwarted * Sunday Times *
In this luscious slice of popular history, Emily Brand knits together all the naughtiest Byrons of the Georgian period into a glittering family tapestry . . . Brand is particularly good at describing the outrageous excess of aristocratic life . . . Brand has done an excellent job of placing the sexploits of the Byron family into the context of a broader social and political history . . . this feels like a fable of our times * Mail on Sunday *
A thoroughly researched, juicily readable account of how the poet Byron's ancestors drank and spent their way from being respected courtiers to penurious disgraces * The Telegraph *
The effect of [Brand's] narrative elasticity is to give the book a novelistic depth, which is added to by rich topographical descriptions and a packed historical backdrop. The Byrons, she concludes, were less cursed than the product of an age of upheaval * The Spectator *
[Brand] has combed through [Byron's] forebears' correspondence to show that the blend of traits that we call Byronic - violent temper, rapacious sexuality, hunger for danger, gobsmacking solipsism - was an old vintage . . . scrupulously researched * The Times *
Brand, a young historian specialising in eighteenth-century romance, traces the many ways that historical events cut across their lives, complete with observations from family acquaintances Horace Walpole and Samuel Johnson. However, her history is as much caught up with the "fiddle-faddle" of the bon ton, and is all the more enjoyable for it . . . a ravishing family saga' * Sunday Times *
Pacey, well observed and written with gusto * Literary Review *
A story of sex and scandal, but also of the fragility of life, the unyielding passion of the human heart, and the oppressive weight of the past. From the first to the last, the ghosts of the Byrons call out to us through Brand's evocative prose. Magnificent
Compellingly plotted, and Emily Brand renders a deeply imagined world * Irish Times Review *
Gripping ... A tale of murder, seduction, incest, elopement and shipwreck ... Just gorgeous. * BBC History Magazine *
Brand should be commended for her command of detail and use of often extremely obscure period sources to illuminate both character and setting. This will justly be regarded as the definitive work about the wider Byron family. * The Critic *
Brand charts the family fortunes in a book that is both extremely well researched and brilliantly written. * NSW [PRINT] Herald Sun [AUDIENCE: 306,571 ASR: AUD 38,632] *
A gloriously indulgent portrait of a flamboyant family of adventurers, artists and scandalous socialites * NATIONAL [PRINT] Australian Women's Weekly [AUDIENCE: 375,036 ASR: AUD 32,720] *
A dramatic family saga [that] shows that Lord Byron's ancestors were just as wicked and salacious as he was. * Sunday Times *

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