London: Henry Colburn, 1816.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

First edition. Two engraved sheet music plates in vol. II. [ii], 295, [1]; [ii], 390; [ii], 322. [2, ads] pp., lacking half-titles called for in vols. I & III. 3 vols. 12mo. Contemporary half calf, marbled boards. Joints discreetly mended, some foxing. A handsome copy in contemporary binding. Summers, p. 341; Tinker 1454; Wise Byron II, pp. 69-70; Wolff 3938 (lacks half-titles).

Item #313277

Lady Caroline Lamb's notorious and deliriously written roman à clé to exact her revenge on Byron for her seduction and abandonment. When our protagonist Calantha encounters Ruthven Glenarvon (i.,e., Byron), her helplessness is described thus:
"The eye of the rattle-snake, it has been said, once fixed upon its victim, overpowers it with terror and alarm: the bird, thus charmed, dares not attempt its escape; it sings its last sweet lay; flutters its little pinions in the air, then falls like a shot before its destroyer, unable to fly from his fascination. Calantha bowed, therefore with the rest, pierced to the heart at once by the maddening power that destroys alike the high and low; but she liked not the wily turn of his eye, the contemptuous sneer of his curling lip, the soft passionless tones of his voice ... "

Byron's dismissive response in a letter to Thomas Moore: "As for the likeness, the picture can't be good — I did not sit still long enough"