Books: Marriage of Inconvenience

LORD BYRON'S WIFE (556 pp.)—Malcolm Elwin—Harcourt, Brace & World ($8.75).

George Gordon Byron's courtship was as mannered as a Jane Austen novel and his honeymoon as melodramatic as The Mysteries of Udolpho. On the famous drive of the bridal pair from Seaham to Halnaby, Byron's "countenance changed to gloom & defiance as soon as we got into the carriage. He began singing in a wild manner as he usually does when angry and scarcely spoke to me till we came near Durham." Later, added his bride, he said, "Now I have you in my...

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