(1788-1824) One of the most talked-of men of his day was George Gordon, Lord Byron. His handsome face, riotous living and many love affairs, and a tragic death at the age of 36 made him a romantic, fascinating figure to both men and women of the time. Today his reputation is chiefly as a poet. His first collection of poetry, published when he was 19, was a volume called 'Hours of Idleness'. His travels in Europe and the Middle East inspired his first long poem, 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'. He became famous almost overnight. Women sought him out, and young men copied his fashion style of wearing an open collar and flowing cravat. After he left England for Italy, he wrote additional cantos for 'Childe Harold'; 'Manfred', a verse play; and 'Don Juan', a half-romantic, half-humorous poetic version of the old Spanish story. He died while helping Greece overthrow their Turkish rulers.
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