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Lord Byron 'was not all about scandal'

25th January 2010

Literary fans should remember Lord Byron for his poetic prowess and not just his colourful private life, according to Germaine Greer.

Writing in the Observer, the feminist author pointed out that Byron was a poet 'first and foremost' and his prolific output covered every conceivable style of the form.

'That his body of work should be so little read, when every year sees the publication of ever more prurient versions of his life, is absurd and disgraceful,' she suggested.

Greer added that readers who spend their time learning about the more salacious details of the poet's life without studying his works are 'short-changing themselves'.

She also noted that Byron's excessive lifestyle did not impede his dedication to poetry, illustrated by the period when he was revising Fugitive Pieces for republication as Poems on Various Occasions at the same time as writing material for Hours of Idleness.

Writing in the Guardian last year, Greer revealed that she is no fan of French literary heavyweight Marcel Proust, claiming that ploughing through the writer's lengthy books is a waste of time.

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