Books: Literary Faker

MAJOR BYRON: THE INCREDIBLE CAREER OF A LITERARY FORGER (217 pp.)—Theodore G. Ehrsam—Boesen ($6).

In the light of his reputation, nothing seemed more natural than that Lord Byron should have fathered and deserted a son. According to "Major George Gordon de Luna Byron," it happened in Spain in 1809, when the fiery poet swept the Countess de Luna off her feet, secretly married her in a Roman Catholic ceremony, then blandly deserted her.

The major was determined to live as a Byron. He used the arms and motto of the family, impressed the Byron crest on his stationery and silverware. He even made...

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