Books: Unearthly Children

BYRON: THE YEARS OF FAME—Peter Quennell—Viking ($3.50). THE ROMANTIC REBELS—Frances Winwar—Little, Brown ($3.50). In July 1811, Byron returned to England from the Near East. He was 23, bored, cynical, a voluptuary who declared he had "drained life to the very dregs." Heavily in debt, he dreaded his reunion with his fat, tactless mother who had taunted him about his lameness; he was oppressed by thoughts of living in Newstead, the chill, half-ruined manor that was haunted with memories of the crimes of his wild ancestors. He carried with him the manuscript of Childe...