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A Year of Books
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Byron memorial returned to the UK

8th July 2011

A book bought at a church sale in the US has been returned to the UK after being identified as the memorial from Lord Byron's family vault.

The book was purchased for just USD 35 (GBP 22) by Georgia resident Marilyn Solana in 2008, after which she contacted experts at the National Library of Scotland to determine the work's heritage.

Historians from the facility discovered it was a memorial to Byron created after the writer's death in 1824 and placed inside a vault at St Mary Magdalene's church in Hucknall, near Nottingham, in 1825.

By 1834, over 800 contributors, including fellow writers and members of the public, had filled the book with poetic laments and other tributes to Byron.

David McClay, the library curator who uncovered the book's identity, said it is unclear how the memorial made its way to the US, but praised Ms Solana for returning it to the UK.

'This is a remarkable find which offers a fascinating insight into Byron's posthumous reputation. I'm sure there will be international interest in what has come to light,' he added.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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