LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
William de Morgan to the Countless of Lovelace, [1910 c.?]

I. Byron Characteristics
II. Three Stages of Lord Byron’s Life
III. Manfred
IV. Correspondence of Augusta Byron
V. Anne Isabella Byron
VI. Lady Byron’s Policy of Silence
VII. Informers and Defamers
VIII. “When We Dead Awake”
IX. Lady Byron and Mrs. Leigh (I)
X. Lady Byron and Mrs. Leigh (II)
XI. Byron and Augusta
Notes by the Editor
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“My Dear Lady Lovelace,—The portrait on page 66 of Vol. IV. of Murray and Prothero’sByron’ is certainly not the late Lady Noel Byron. I was really very familiar with her face in childhood and early manhood, and it would be mere affectation in me to qualify my opinion in order not to seem too positive in my way of stating it.

“I suspect that Lady Anne Blunt is right in thinking this portrait a younger version of that of Mrs. Byron in the same volume.2 Had I been told that this last had been supposed also to be a portrait of the poet’s wife, I should have assigned exactly similar reasons for disputing its authenticity.

“I think if I had to make choice of an epithet that would not describe the countenance of the almost ethereally delicate, almost painfully serious, almost disconcertingly precise lady (whom I remember vividly), it would be one that my mind at once applied to the original or originals of each of these portraits—the adjective jovial. It may be said that the tragedy of her life

1 Medwin’sConversations with Lord Byron,” pp. 44, 45.

2 Portrait by Stewardson, belonging to John Murray, Esq.

had left its mark upon her. But then this supposed portrait is palpably older than she was at the date of its occurrence.

“On the other hand, the word stoical associates itself in my mind with Lady Noel Byron—not implying severity or grimness—and I feel sure there was mighty little stoicism in any sense in the original of either of these portraits.

Murray and Prothero must surely have accepted this portrait on the strength of seemingly indisputable authentication, because so many still living remember the supposed original as plainly as myself. But folk are never to hand when wanted and don’t get consulted.

“Believe me, dear Lady Lovelace,
“Always sincerely yours,
Wm. De Morgan.”