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Genius and the MindStudies of Creativity and Temperament$
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Andrew Steptoe

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523734

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523734.001.0001

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Lord Byron: the apostle of affliction

Lord Byron: the apostle of affliction

(p.194) (p.195) Chapter 9 Lord Byron: the apostle of affliction
Genius and the Mind

Kay Redfield Jamison

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on how manic-depressive dispositions in the life of George Lord Byron influenced his poetic creative genius. Even though mobility and mutability of temperament are often tied to the creative process, this chapter analyses the intensity, changeability, and complexity of Byron's temperament and its relationship to his manic-depressive illness. His symptoms, family psychiatric history, and the course of his illness clearly fit the pattern of manic-depressive illness as he suffered from his ‘predisposition to grief’. His poetry was inextricably bound to his life as he often seemed to command in death what he commanded in life: love, hate, respect, contempt, loyalty, and disdain-in short, controversy.

Keywords:   George Lord Byron, poetry, manic-depressive illness, temperament, predisposition to grief

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