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Lord Byron: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – November 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jerome J. McGann, Professor of Humanities, California Institute of Technology.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (November 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019953733X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537334
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 2.3 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I generally prefer the Oxford World's Classics series to Penguin's editions of the same works and authors. Why? Because Oxford boasts better (thicker) paper, better fonts, better printing, better covers, usually better notes and better introductions... Oxford just seems to present an overall better product at roughly equivalent prices. But Oxford made a crucial mistake in their edition of Lord Byron: The Major Works--they didn't give Don Juan a separate volume. The effect of stuffing Don Juan into this volume means that the book is conflated to an unwieldy 1100+ pages, and several of Byron's key poems are either omitted or severely abridged (like Lara and The Corsair). Here, they really should've followed Penguin's lead in creating separate volumes for Don Juan and another for Byron's other poetry. But it's even worse when one considers that the Oxford contains a sampling of Byron's prose. So after you subtract the pages for Don Juan and the prose, you're left with only about 470 pages of Byron's other poetry in compared to Penguin's 780.

Now, granted, perhaps what's available here in the Oxford Edition will be enough for many readers, and it does still provide its usual advantages in paper, printing, font, notes, and intros. Byron was incredibly prolific, but like most prolific poets he tended to produce more bad poetry than good/great poetry. It's just a numbers thing; writing great poetry takes time and attention to small details. It's why it took Milton years to write Paradise Lost at a rate of 40-or-so lines a day. Every detail had to be worked out. At Byron's best he was as good as anybody, and his skill combined with his unique philosophical worldview makes him endlessly provocative, compelling, and readable, even at his worst.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Neutiquam Erro on September 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
All passion, intensity and fire, Byron cuts a swathe through the Regency era's lights, literature and ladies. He does so in a style that is the most beautiful and high prose you will ever read; magnificent curving arcs of words that could have come straight from the proud mouth of an archangel (or Lucifer himself). Of course, he occasionally descends into petty back-stabbing, misogyny and generally seems to be a bit of a spoilt child with too much time on his hands, but you can forgive him that just for Childe Harold's Pilgrimage alone.

This book claims to contain most of Lord Byron's major works and it certainly is a full volume, weighing in at over 1000 pages in paperback format. The larger works include the above-mentioned Pilgrimage and Don Juan. These take up at least 700 pages themselves. The remaining space is occupied by Manfred - a rather Nietzschean work about a magician; the Giaour - a tale of unrepentant love and loss; Mazeppa - a story of a man whose fortunes fall and rise dramatically; Beppo - a Venetian affaire de cour; Cain - an intense retelling of the biblical tale with Manichean overtones, and assorted shorter poems. There are also fifty pages of assorted correspondence with various individuals. The book comes equipped with a very short introduction (for a book of 1000 pages), a chronology of Byron's life, an index and end notes. There is very little in the way of explanation of why pieces are included and the end notes are mostly helpful but often explain the obvious while leaving the obscure, obscure. If you like books that contain no analysis, this is for you, but if you want things explained you will do better with something else.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. E. Mort on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The text is nice enough but I guess you get what you pay for and there is no way the books ultra cheep constructions gets you through its 1120 pages... just like the other two Oxford World Press books I ordered with this one. Really, $0.08 more a book to put a sturdy cover on it please?!?!?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Arsov on December 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
Lord Byron

The Major Works

Oxford University Press, Paperback, [2008].
8vo. xxviii+1080 pp. Introduction [xi-xxiii] and Notes [1021-76] by Jerome J. McGann, 1986.

This edition first published, 1986.
First published, with revisions, as an Oxford World's Classics paperback, 2000. Reprinted, 2008.


Note on the Text

A Fragment (`When, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice')
The Farewell to a Lady
From "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers"
[Lines to Mr Hodgson]
Song (`Maid of Athens, ere we part')
Written Beneath a Picture
To Thyrza (`One struggle more, and I am free')
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
The Giaour
From "The Corsair"
From "Lara"
Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte
Stanzas for Music (`I speak not - I trace not - I breathe not thy name')
She Walks in Beauty
Stanzas for Music (`There's not a joy the world can give')
When We Two Parted
Fare Thee Well!
[A Fragment] (`Could I remount the river of my years')
Stanzas to [Augusta]
[Epistle to Augusta]
[`So, We'll Go No More A Roving']
[Epistle to Mr Murray]
To the Po
[Stanzas] (`Could Love for ever')
Don Juan
[Stanzas] (`When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home')
The Vision of Judgment
[Thoughts on Freedom]
On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year

To Mrs Catherine Gordon Byron, 12 Nov. 1809
To Lady Melbourne, 15 Sept. 1812
To Lady Melbourne, 25 Sept. 1812
To Lady Melbourne, 8 Oct. 1813
Alpine Journal (1816)
To Augusta Leigh, 15 Oct.
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