Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lord Byron's Locks of Hair

The Sunday Times [London, UK]
22 June 2008

Why, Lord Byron -- you're a sly dog

Richard Brooks

He may have a reputation as England's greatest romantic poet, but Lord Byron had an unchivalrous way of fobbing off his female admirers.

The women would send him locks of hair with their fan letters. It has now been claimed that the clippings he sent them to swoon over in return were not from his own head but from his pet newfoundland dog. [...]

John Gross, ed., The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 102.

Drury had some dogs (two, I believe) sent him that had belonged to Lord Byron. One day he was told that two ladies wished to see him, and he found their business was to ask, as a great favour, some relic of Lord Byron. Expecting to be asked for some of his handwriting, or a bit of his hair, he was amused to find that it was a bit of the hair of one of the dogs they wanted. The dog being brought forward the ladies observed a clot on his back, which had evidently resisted any efforts at ablution that might have been exerted on the animal, and immediately selected this as the most precious part to be cut off; 'the probability,' they said, 'being that Lord B. might have patted that clot.' -- Thomas Moore, journal, June 1827

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