Byron: Incest, Voyeurism and the Phantasmagoria

  • David J. Jones
Part of the The Palgrave Gothic Series book series (PAGO)


The erstwhile Marquis (but contemporaneously ‘Citizen’) de Sade might have found, amongst other scenes conducive to his notoriously lurid imagination, the blend of illicit sex and appalling violence meted out to the young George Gordon, Lord Byron in January 1799 and the months that followed, diverting to say the least. These depredations were administered by his nurse, May Gray, when lodging at the Parkyns’ house in Nottingham.1 Sade’s Justine ou Les Malheurs de la vertu (1791) certainly drew on a more multifarious range of sexual and brutal predation than those inflicted by Byron’s nurse, but those Nottingham days would haunt the poet for the rest of his life.2 On 3 January in the same year, Etienne-Gaspard Robertson’s sophisticated and well-honed form of Phantasmagoria opened and subsequently took Paris by storm.3


Optical Illusion Lantern Slide Magic Lantern Disgrace Mate Multifarious Range 
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Copyright information

© David J. Jones 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityUK

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