This is a novel, but it is only partly fiction. The many towns and cities of the setting of Byron’s story have changed in the intervening century, but many of the buildings he lived in — and loved in — still exist. Most of the people who appear as characters in this novel really lived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many of the “conversations” in the book actually occurred, although I have adapted them from letters, reports and diaries.
The episodes of Byron’s love making come from my imagination, but the loved ones, and where and when they were together, are from the historical record. Love, “that wide word” as he put it, was the theme of Byron’s life. It was the primary topic of his letters, journals and poetry. The periods in his life in which he produced dozens of lines of poetry a day coincided with those in which he was the most sexually active.
Appropriately enough for a man who died at the age of 36, Byron is credited with the first published translation into English of the aphorism from Latin “Whom the Gods love die young”. This was one of very few indications of their affection for him.
Some of the occurrences in the story are fictional — but they are possible and based on historical research. In all cases, Byron was there at the time (in London, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Gibraltar, Albania and Greece) and is not known to have been doing anything else. Until proved otherwise, I like to think I have unravelled some of the mysteries that conceal the paradox that he is. I wish him PACE IN ETERNO and hope this makes a small contribution to NEMESIS.