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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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Lewis, de Staël and ‘Poor Polidori’

Lewis, de Staël and ‘Poor Polidori’

(p.141) 1 Lewis, de Staël and ‘Poor Polidori’
Byron in Geneva
Liverpool University Press

Matthew Lewis met Madame de Staël in England, but the two got into a serious disagreement during one of their meetings. Perhaps to initiate a reconciliation between the two, Byron accompanied Lewis to Coppet. During his stay with Byron in Diodati, Lewis had not only told ghost stories but also translated for him parts of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play Faust. Byron would later acknowledged the particular influence of Lewis's oral rendering on Manfred, the poetic drama he was beginning to write at the time. Byron was often tempted by what Sigmund Freud calls the omnipotence of thoughts. This is evident in his response in 1818 to the suicide of Sir Samuel Romilly, a lawyer known for his humanitarian efforts to reform the English penal code.

Keywords:   Matthew Lewis, Madame de Staël, England, reconciliation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Manfred, Samuel Romilly, Coppet, Diodati

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