Emily Brand - The Fall of the House of Byron

The Fall of the House of Byron

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most prosperous and fashionable aristocratic homes in England. It was the abode of William, 4th Baron Byron - a popular amateur composer and artist - and his teenage wife Frances. But only a few decades later, the building had become a crumbling and ill-cared-for ruin. The 4th Baron and most of his relatives had died, leaving the incumbent owner William, the 5th Baron Byron, known as the 'Wicked Lord', laying on his deathbed alongside a handful of remaining servants and amidst a thriving population of crickets.

This was the home that a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen - who the world would later come to know as Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, soldier, and adventurer - would inherit in 1798. His family, he would come to learn, had in recent decades become known for almost unfathomable levels of scandal and impropriety, from elopement, murder, and kidnapping to adultery, coercion, and thrilling near-death experiences at sea. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the story of the Byrons, and the folklore of their outlandish scandal, would influence his life and poetry for posterity.

The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron's ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen's clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France. A compelling story of a prominent and controversial characters, it is a sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history.

Emily will be chatting about her book with Festival Patron and well-known broadcaster and presenter, Judi Spiers.


Today’s event menu options are prepared on site by the excellent Skern Lodge catering team, awarded a 5 star food hygiene rating from Torridge District Council. Full details can be found on the Skern Lodge website:  www.skernlodge.co.uk

£5 each
Option 1: Trio of cakes (GL,D,S,E), with tea or coffee.
Option 2: Trio of gluten free/vegan cakes (S), with tea or coffee.

Menu and allergens may be subject to change. All foods will be labelled upon delivery with the correct allergen information.
Allergen key: GL: Gluten; F: Fish; D: Dairy/Milk; E: Eggs; S: Soya; M: Meat.
Please note: All meals are nut free.
Drive-In Skern Lodge
Torridge Road
EX39 1NG