L.L. Diamond

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I was playing around, looking for a book to allude to while writing a scene, when I came upon this one. At times, I see something and think, “That would be fun!” and this was one of those times. I do not mention it specifically by name…at least yet, but I couldn’t resist using it.

I knew the name Lady Caroline Lamb. Many who have a fascination with Regency England and literature do, but I knew of her more as the lover of Lord Byron rather than a writer in her own right. Lady Caroline was indeed a writer, though probably considered as scandalous as Byron, she likely also sold as many books as he did.

Glenarvon, the book Georgiana peruses in the story, was first published anonymously in 1816. Now, I say anonymously, but everyone in society knew Lady Lamb was the author. Even Lord Byron commented, “I read Glenarvon too by Caro Lamb….God damn!” Society at the time was well aware of her identity, though it did her no favours.

While Glenarvon is a Gothic tale, the story was actually that of her own affair with Lord Byron in which she included other prominent members of the Ton, under different names of course, and satirised them in the most unflattering terms.

The book was an undisputed success. The entire first run sold out, and further editions were printed, so one cannot say her efforts were for nothing; however, her already poor reputation was ruined and she became ostracised from the Ton.

The strange part is that Lady Caroline did not become a pariah on account of making her love affair public. The fact that she and Byron were lovers was far from a secret. It was in fact quite well-publicised. Rather, it was her unflattering satirisation of several high-ranking members of the Ton–including Lady Jersey, who led to her downfall (In retribution, Lady Jersey cancelled Lady Caroline’s Almack’s vouchers. By the efforts of family members, she did have her vouchers reinstated in 1819, but it did not do much to repair the damage.)

Glenarvon has been in and out of print since the 19th century. It’s last printing was in 1995, and has since been called an early work of feminism, though some consider it “hysterical” and incoherent. As Lady Caroline was known to abuse alcohol and laudanum and have mental instability, incoherent is a distinct possibility.

Lady Caroline Lamb published three other works in her lifetime: Graham Hamilton (1822), Ada Reis (1823), and Penruddock (1823).


8 thoughts on “Glenarvon

  1. Cass says:

    Wow! Fascinating! I hope Georgiana enjoyed the read! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, she was browsing in a booksellers. We’ll see if she bought it or not 😉 Thanks, roomie!


  2. Carole in Canada says:

    Hmm…did Darcy know she was reading it? I was aware of her affair with Lord Byron but had no clue she wrote books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question about Darcy! I suppose we’ll find out when I finally get it finished. Thanks, Carole!


  3. Glynis says:

    I have read about Lady Caroline in at least one of Georgette Heyer’s books I think. Probably not a good role model for an easily led 15 year old!! Looking forward to your book coming out Leslie 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a sequel to Particular Intentions, so Georgiana is a bit older and wiser. We’ll have to see! Thanks, Glynis!


  4. JanisB says:

    Having just finished reading Particular Intentions, this clarified this point for me. Lady Caroline was a fascinating character, and agreed she was probably not the best role model for a genteel 15-year old. Perhaps more Lydia’s style? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lydia is a hot mess, but we’ll have to see what happens with her! I do have the sequel set about four years after Particular Intentions, so Georgiana’s a bit more mature than she was in Particular Intentions. The question is really whether Georgiana bought the book 😉 Thanks, Janis!


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