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Byron in GenevaThat Summer of 1816$
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David Ellis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846316432

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317163

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The Jungfrau

The Jungfrau

(p.127) 16 The Jungfrau
Byron in Geneva
Liverpool University Press

Upon their return from Chamonix, the Shelley party realised that the problem of Claire Clairmont, now well into her fourth month of pregnancy, was becoming acute. They discussed the matter with Lord Byron at Diodati and they all agreed that Claire should go back to England where she would deliver her baby as discreetly as possible, to be adopted by Byron later on. Byron seemed determined to prevent Claire from using the baby as a means of holding on to their relationship. At this time, he felt that his half–sister Augusta Leigh could always be relied upon. Byron expressed this conviction in two poems, ‘Stanzas’ and ‘Epistle’. It was also during this time that Matthew Lewis, author of the erotic ‘Gothic’ best–seller, The Monk, arrived in Diodati. Byron and Lewis paid a visit to Ferney, the village where Voltaire lived and wrote for almost twenty years.

Keywords:   Shelley party, Claire Clairmont, pregnancy, Lord Byron, England, Augusta Leigh, poems, Matthew Lewis, Ferney, Voltaire

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