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by George Byron
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Byrons exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, beginning with his illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain and his subsequent exile to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favorite of the Empress Catherine who sends him on to England. Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byrons Don Juan blends high drama with earthy humor, outrageous satire of his contemporaries, and sharp mockery of Western societies, with England coming under particular attack.
About the Author
George Gordon, Lord Byron (17881824) gained a reputation for his startling good looks and extravagant behavior. With the publication in 1812 of the first two cantos of Childe Harolds Pilgrimage he became instantly famous. His rumored relationship with his half- sister Augustine led him to leave England in 1816.
Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University.
Peter J. Manning is chair and professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook.
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