Popular Poets

3. Byron followed up on the success of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage with the massively popular and critically lauded series of “Oriental Tales,” comprised of The Giaour (1813), The Bride of Abydos (1813), The Corsair (1814), and Lara (1814). The Corsair is a narrative poem that received widespread acclaim in the nineteenth century, selling ten thousand copies on its first day of sale. Like many of Byron’s poetic works, including Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, The Corsair features a “Byronic Hero,” an intrepid, bold, sensitive, and courageous character archetype common to Byron’s writing and often conflated with the poet’s own personality and biography. Also like Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, The Corsair was divided into cantos and the figure of the Byronic Hero, Conrad the corsair, is cast as a societal outsider. This chapbook features an 1817 novelization of the poem by William Hone.