The Fall of the House of Byron
Scandal and Seduction in Georgian England
'Brand's meticulous research brings to life the colourful characters
of the Georgian era's most notorious families with all the
verve and skill of the era's finest novelists ...
A powdered and pomaded, sordid and silk-swathed adventure'
Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five
In the early 18th century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. By the end of the century, it was a crumbling and neglected ruin. Amid the wreckage of his inheritance was its dissipated owner, William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the 'Wicked Lord'. This was the home that a pudgy ten-year-old boy from Aberdeen – who would become the now notorious Romantic poet and adventurer, Lord Byron – inherited in 1798.
The scandalous story of his family's fall from grace and grandeur over the course of the 1700s takes in elopement, adultery, murder, kidnapping, the ravages of revolution and war, and the century's most thrilling story of survival against all the odds. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish truth about the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – bled into his life and poetry for posterity.
A sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history, The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron's ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen's clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France.
*Publishing 16 April 2020*
"Revelatory and readable, Brand opens up the story of Byron's inheritance, a legacy that will be the making and unmaking of him. A fascinating, gripping work"
Guinevere Glasfurd, author of The Words in My Hand
"Combining new research with a pacy narrative, Emily Brand introduces the glamorous and flawed Byron dynasty ... a family inheritance to match the wildest imaginings of their most notorious descendant. A riveting read!"
Professor Kathryn Sutherland
"A story of sex and scandal, but also of the fragility of life, the unyielding passion of the human heart, and the oppressive weight of the past. ... The ghosts of the Byrons call out to us through Brand’s evocative prose. Magnificent"
Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire
‘Brand is a great historian, equal to the huge challenge of telling the story of history's most turbulent and colourful lives’
Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship
A Publishers Weekly 'Pick of the Week' and featured in the New York Times and
Stylist magazine's '30 Books Every Woman Should Read'
“Invites readers into the byzantine and hilarious world of early 19th-century English romance in this faux dating – er, courtship -- guide... A delightful job recreating Darcy at his most cranky, aloof, and – yes -– charming.” – Publishers Weekly
“Downright hysterical... a fun and quick read that will keep you laughing for a while.
I heartily recommend it.” – Austenprose.com
“Pitch-perfect ability to capture the stodgy – and, of course, prideful and prejudiced -- voice of one Mr. Darcy makes this tongue-in-cheek dating guide so utterly and delightfully amusing... sure to have Austen/P&P/Darcy fans swooning.” – The Book Page
“Laugh out loud funny. I really can't recommend this more to fans of Jane Austen, of the movies,
and of the era itself.” – Anglotopia.net
The Georgian Bawdyhouse
"Entertaining, learned and instructive, this is a perfectly pitched little book'
– Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, historian & broadcaster
"Takes in every aspect of the period's commercial exploitation of female flesh ... excellent.'
– The Dabbler.