He’s the original ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ hottie — George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, usually known as Lord Byron (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824). A hugely influential Romantic poet, Byron is also the inspiration for the “Byronic” hero, both in his poetry and in his own life. He was immensely talented and personally magnetic yet deeply flawed, arrogant, and self-destructive. He was incredibly privileged and flouted social conventions. All of this made him and his poetry fascinating during his lifetime and ever since, and Lord Byron has appeared in historical costume movies and TV a few times as main character and often in cameos related to the many famous people he socialized with.
First, the historical figure…
And here are the onscreen versions…
Gavin Gordon in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Dennis Price in The Bad Lord Byron (1949)
Richard Chamberlain in Lady Caroline Lamb (1972)
Gabriel Byrne in Gothic (1986)
Philip Anglim in Haunted Summer (1988)
Hugh Grant in Rowing With the Wind (1988)
Jason Patric in Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
Christopher Clarke in Star Trek: Voyager, episode “Darkling” (1997)
Jonny Lee Miller in Byron (2003)
Matthew Rhys in Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006)
Mathew Baynton in Drunk History: U.K., episode 2.4 (2015)
Tom Sturridge in Mary Shelley (2018)
Do you love a byronic hero or Byron himself better?
Besides his poetry, there’s thing about this manchild was his daughter, Ada Lovelace. But I wish they’d get him right in films. Maybe a new mini series for BBC. Best the 1,000,000,000,000 remake of (fill in book of your choice)
Wasn’t his character in one episode of Horrible histories á la Twilight?
Ha ha ha, just had to look it up, and he was.
A rather fabulous Lord Byron (Guy Lancaster) complete with a chorus of fainting Regency fangirls appears at a party in which Coleridge and Wordsworth have a barney in Pandaemonium (2000). Alas cannot seem to easily find a screenshot but I remember him being rather dishy, with a gold earring and a great waistcoat….
Slightly off topic but this lady will tell everything you could ever want to know about skull cups:
I think that skull cup is probably the only accurate detail of that Byron movie.
he even wrote a poem about it
I had to comment just to squee over the Voyager episode included on this list! My two great loves, Star Trek and historical fashion, together in one place at last!!!
We’ve reviewed a Voyager episode before (search the site) & while we don’t review sci-fi as a rule, when it dips into historical, it’s fair game :)
I wanna see Mary Shelley. I wonder if/when it’s going to a wide release stateside? :P
There was a MENTION of Byron in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which amused me.
Lord B is buried in the parish church where many of my family were married and Christened (including me); our school carol services were held there and I was one of the church bell ringers for a while. I also had my wedding reception at Newstead Abbey.
Against all my better judgement, I love him. I also contend that if he were writing today, he’d be churning out Giant Fantasy Novel Bricks – have a look at “Darkness” sometime!
As for “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”, my take is, how would YOU like it if your ex made an unflattering internet meme about you, and people still remembered it TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER?
Hahhahaha, good points all!
Not to mention her not being the full shilling herself.