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587   Lord Byron  $500 $888 $977 6 You must login to place a bid.

#587 - Lord Byron

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The young Romantic prepares to join the revolution in Greece

LS in Italian, signed “Noel Byron, Pair d’Angleterre,” one page, 7.25 x 9.5, June 30, 1823. Untranslated letter to Greek patriot Giorgio Vitali written while Byron was making his final preparations for his voyage to Greece, declining an offer of passage in Vitali's ship and explaining that he has already hired an English brig for the voyage. The body of the letter is penned in the hand of Count Pietro Gamba, Byron’s secretary and the brother of his mistress, Contessa Teresa Guiccioli. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature) and show-through from wax seal and address panel on the reverse of the second integral page.

Despite his strong circle of literary friends and his passionate relationship with Teresa Guiccioli, Byron was growing bored with his leisurely life in Genoa by the summer of 1823. With encouragement from a group of Greek revolutionaries to join them in their war for independence from the Ottoman Empire, Byron bid farewell to Teresa and boarded the ‘Hercules’ on July 13, shortly after writing the present letter. Arriving in Cephalonia on August 2, he funded the refitting of the Greek fleet and sailed for Missolonghi. From there he planned an attack on the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto but fell ill shortly before the expedition and passed away on April 19. While the vast majority of Byron’s letters—over 3,000—were published in Marchand’s comprehensive twelve-volume edition of all of Byron’s known letters and journals, this one was not, making it an exceptionally rare and desirable example. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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