Byron and the Websters

The Letters and Entangled Lives of the Poet, Sir James Webster and Lady Frances Webster

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About the Book

Arguably the most offensive, despised, and ridiculed dandy of the Regency period, Sir James Webster-Wedderburn would likely be forgotten were it not for an affair between his wife and his close friend, the poet Lord Byron. This unique work lays out the details and provides commentary on rare private letters between Webster’s wife, Lady Frances Caroline Annesley, and the famous poet. Also included are analyses and transcriptions of Lady Frances’ letters to other suitors, including the Duke of Wellington and another Regency dandy, Scrope Davies.

About the Author(s)

John Stewart is the author of non-fiction books on a variety of topics including African states and rulers, Antarctica, the British Empire, Moons of the solar system, Italian movies, Broadway musicals, the British circus, Lord Byron, Jefferson Davis, and Confederate spies. Winner of numerous reference book awards, he lives in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

John Stewart
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3240-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8437-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction      1

1. The ’45      5
2. Childe Webster      7
3. Hussar      12
4. Lady Frances      18
5. Arms      21
6. Dandy      23
7. Vis à Vis      26
8. The Groom of Abydos      29
9. Aston Hall      33
10. Byron’s Song      86
11. Vive l’Empereur      88
12. Master Shallow      90
13. Waterloo: Ball, Battle and Poem      94
14. Monument to a Dead Son      119
15. The Sucking Salamander      123
16. Nantes      131
17. The Duel      139
18. Sir James      152
19. Kiss Me, Hardy      153
20. Reconciliation      156
21. The Kidnapping      168
22. When We Two Parted      173
23. The Death of Byron      175
24. Baronet      176
25. Wedderburn vs. Wedderburn      180
26. The Robbing of Lady Frances      183
27. The Molesting of Lady Frances      186
28. The Death of Lady Frances      191
29. James’s Death at Cooney’s Tavern      194
30. Post Mortem      197

Bibliography      201
Index      203

Book Reviews & Awards

“Stewart has taken the letters of his ancestors Sir James and Lady Frances Webster to, from, and about Byron and strung them into a narrative of all three lives. Those interested in Byron and the Regency period will find the book enlightening”—Reference & Research Book News.