Souvenir of Geneva
The Prisoner of Chillon, and Other Poems.
London: John Murray, 1816.
First edition, (presumed) first state with recto of E8 (p. 61) blank and with both Murray’s list of Byron’s poems and the imprint on p. 62. [vi], 60, [ii] pp., + 2 leaves of ads dated November 1816. 1 vols. 8vo. Souvenir of Geneva. Original drab brown wrappers, uncut. Spine chipped, corners bumped, upper wrapper with mild staining, dampstain to margin of last few leaves Randolph, p. 61; Wise “Byron” I, p. 113. Item #259725
“There are seven pillars of Gothic mold, / In Chillon’s dungeons deep and old”
Byron's very free interpretation of the imprisonment of sixteenth century Genevan prelate, patriot, and historian, François de Bonivard.
This volume also marks the first publication of the celebrated poem “Darkness”.
During the summer of 1816, during their residence at Villa Diodati, Byron and Shelley sailed across the lake to visit the castle of Chillon. “Before he returned to Diodati, [Byron] had composed The Prisoner of Chillon” (Marchand).
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