The Byron Journal

Bound By Blood: Incestuous Desire in the Works of Byron

The Byron Journal (2012), 40, (1), 17–28.

Abstract

This article investigates Byron's use of the incest theme. It departs from the kind of biographical criticism often used to explore the theme of desire in Byron's work, as this interpretive paradigm both understates the complexity of Byron's treatment of the theme and neglects its literary precedents. Whatever his personal investment in the subject, the fact is that Byron's representations of it were significantly indebted to eighteenth-century incest narratives, particularly Gothic works. Further, for Byron, incest is a means of presenting individual conscience and morality, as well as challenging socio-political institutions and religious dogma.

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Author details

Stansbury, Heather