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The new poems in this first public volume of his poetry are little more than schoolboy translations from the classics and imitations of such pre-Romantics as Thomas Gray, Thomas Chatterton, Robert Burns, and James Macpherson’s Ossian, and of contemporaries including Walter Scott and Thomas Moore.Missing were the original flashes of eroticism and satire that had enlivened poems in the private editions that were omitted from .(His half sister had earlier been sent to her maternal grandmother.) Emotionally unstable, Catherine Byron raised her son in an atmosphere variously colored by her excessive tenderness, fierce temper, insensitivity, and pride.She was as likely to mock his lameness as to consult doctors about its correction.Years later he told Thomas Medwin that all his "fables about the celestial nature of women" originated from "the perfection" his imagination created in Mary Chaworth.Early in 1804 he began an intimate correspondence with his half sister, Augusta, five years his senior.In November 1806 he distributed around Southwell his first book of poetry., printed at his expense and anonymously, collects the poems inspired by his early infatuations, friendships, and experiences at Harrow, Cambridge, and elsewhere.
Byron attended Trinity College, Cambridge, intermittently from October 1805 until July 1808, when he received an M. Intellectual pursuits interested him less than such London diversions as fencing and boxing lessons, the theater, demimondes, and gambling.With the death in 1798 of his great-uncle, the "Wicked" fifth Lord Byron, George became the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale, heir to Newstead Abbey, the family seat in Nottinghamshire.He enjoyed the role of landed nobleman, proud of his coat of arms with its mermaid and chestnut horses surmounting the motto "Crede Byron" ("Trust Byron").The work has value for what it reveals about the youthful poet’s influences, interests, talent, and direction.In "On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School," he employs heroic couplets for satiric effect in the manner—if without the polish—of Alexander Pope, a model for Byron throughout his career.
In obviously autobiographical poems Byron experiments with personae, compounded of his true self and of fictive elements, which both disclose and disguise him.