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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

With the exception of Joanna Baillie’s De Monfort, and, to an extent, Coleridge’s Remorse, all of the efforts of Romantic period poets at putting their plays on the stage failed. Of the rest of the canon, and those outside of it, only Charles Lamb and Byron had plays performed in their lifetimes. Both were failures, with Byron’s Marino Faliero running for seven nights and Lamb’s Mr. H. for only one. Placing Byron’s Marino Faliero within the context of productions by other poets, this chapter examines the confused politics at the centre of the failure of Byron’s only drama to make the stage: a failure caused by Byron trying to come to grips with contemporary politics, the actions of his friend John Cam Hobhouse, and his own impossible position as an advocate for reform who hated ‘blackguard’ reformers, and believed that only ‘gentlemen’ of a certain class should be in power.

Keywords: Romantic canon, Byron, politics, class, Marino Faliero, Charles Lamb

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