George Gordon Lord Byron
'Between Suliote chiefs, German barons, English volunteers
and adventurers of all nations, we are likely to form as goodly an allied army
as ever quarrelled beneath the same banner...'' - Missolonghi, 1824
NEARLY TWO CENTURIES AGO LORD BYRON GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE STRUGGLE
to wrest Greece from an oppressive occupying Caliphate – the Ottoman Empire.
It is a story of effort and sacrifice, and, with ISIS a retrograde and brutal reality,
a narrative with thought-provoking resonances in the present day.
Listen to the story of his undertaking through John Webster’s ‘Lord Byron and the Greek War’,
which combines ‘Byron songs’ by Brindaband, narration voiced by Benjamin Zephaniah,
and dialogues recreated from contemporary accounts.
Byron's residence in Pisa, the Palazzo Lanfranchi (centre).
'I have got into a famous old feudal palazzo, on the Arno, with dungeons below and cells in the walls,
large enough for a garrison, and so full of Ghosts that the learned Fletcher (my valet) has begged leave to change his room,
and then refused to occupy his new room, because there were more ghosts there than in the other'. (Letter to John Murray 4.12.1821)
See also the essay 'Byron and Islam' for some reflections on the poet's relationship with Islam and Islamic culture.