Byron's personal letters on rivals, religion and romance sold for record price

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London, Oct 30 (ANI): A collection of Lord Byron's letters to a close friend- revealing a highly personal side of the poet, his romance, fury towards Christianity and rival literary figures-has been sold for a record price of over 250,000 pounds at a London auction.

Sotheby's, where the auction took place, said that the price is a world record for a series of letters or a manuscript by a British romantic poet.

The letters were sent to a clergyman, Francis Hodgson, who apparently was scandalised by some of his friend's exploits, although the two had a deep friendship that endured over many years.

In the letters, Byron has described a stormy affair with a servant girl, attacked Christianity and dismissed his rival poet as William "Turdsworth".

The letters, many of which are unpublished and have not been seen by scholars since the 19th century, reveal a highly personal side of the poet - described by his lover Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know".

The collection of 71 handwritten pages went to an anonymous buyer for 277,250 pounds- far more than the original estimate of 150,00 pounds to 180,000 pounds.

"We are absolutely delighted with the price achieved for such an important collection of letters by Byron," the Telegraph quoted Gabriel Heaton, a specialist at Sotheby's, as saying.

"There has been particular interest in what this unique collection reveals about Byron as a poet, as well as the more sensitive and thoughtful side to a man most frequently recognised as one of history's most notorious Lotharios. The letters talk of love and poetry, of religion, travel and revolution, and their sale has offered a wonderful opportunity to reveal aspects of Lord Byron's character that were either unknown or long forgotten," Heaton added.

The letters were sold by descendants of the nineteenth-century Prime Minister Lord Rosebery. He bought the letters for 106 pounds in 1885. (ANI)

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