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Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 Years After His Lordship's Death Hardcover – March 5, 1987

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Hardcover, March 5, 1987
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An ape may never write Shakespeare, but the computer/hero of this charming confection manages to write Bryon: three new quatrains to a loved one hitherto unmentioned either in the poet's correspondence or in his verse. Indeed, after having been programmed by a couple of sober-sided technicians and stuffed with every available scrap of Byronic information by the romantic young student Anna, the computer becomes Byron, musing, as its input and output buttons are pressed, on the early years in Cambridge, where he met and fell irrevocably in love with a choirboy. The knottiest problem posed to the computer concerns Byron's sexuality, and whether the verses to Thyrza in Don Juan celebrate a man or a woman. As she asks questions worded to avoid computer pique (because the machine becomes touchy and evasive on the subject of sex), Anna, like scores of young women before her, falls under Byron's spell and even suspects, when called "Anna dear," that the computer may have a soft spot for her as well. Prantera's (Strange Loop, The Cabalist) own fondness for Anna is transferred to the reader, as the quirky facts unfold and the question of Byron's sexuality is satisfactorily answered. This is a book to delight both Byron buffs and lovers of whimsy.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Author of The Cabalist ( LJ 8/86), whose protagonist seeks to unravel mysteries both sacred and profane, Prantera takes on striking subjects but doesn't seem fully to know what to do with them. Here, experts in Artificial Intelligence feed into a computer all information available on Byron, hoping to unravel some of his mysteries. One researcher is especially concerned with the inspiration for the deeply felt Thyrza poems, and her investigation suggests that Byron's romantic appetites were not what we had thought. But just as the computer evades the researchers (and it truly does seem to have a "mind" of its own), so Byron's apparently devastating charm evades the author. Still, when the narrative leaves behind the laboratory to focus on Byron's Cambridge days, there are some winning passages. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; First Edition edition (March 5, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022402423X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224024235
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,199,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I had a scrappy education in England, Italy and France. First tried to be a secretary but was no good at that, then passed to translating - no great shakes at that either. At twenty I married an Italian doctor and had two daughters, Sophie and Connie (my best creations, I reckon). In my mid-thirties, with parental duties becoming lighter, I patched up my education a bit by learning German and taking a degree in Philosophy at London University, with a view to getting a job at the Uni here in Rome where I live. Was told, 'Come back next year and we may have something for you', so filled in the gap by writing my first novel, Strange Loop. Amazingly (because it is shockingly overwritten and is saved only by having a terrific story under all the wuffle), it found a publisher.
After that I let go Philosophy and turned to writing full time. Recently, however, I have tried my hand at translation again - with much better results - and the product, Marlen Haushofer's masterpiece'The Loft', is shortly to appear with Quartet Books. You can visit my blog at:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By on August 7, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Amanda Prantera has cleverly brought one of the greatest romantics of all time to life through a medium which is considered anything but romantic. This extremely entertaining tale begins with a research group who, on hopes of creating artificial intelligence, program all known data concerning Lord Byron into a computer. What follows is a charming glimpse into the reawakened mind of Lord Byron as we watch him dodge personal questions and woo Anna, a young researcher.

Very, very clever!
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