Turkish Tales - Poetry of Lord Byron
We hope you will enjoy these fine, old-fashioned stories that Lord Byron wrote in an old-fashioned way. He tells these tales in rhyming verse and heroic couplets, and he makes them dashing, romantic, and even melodramatic in a way that has become foreign to us with the passing of time.
These are tales of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish empire that, in Lord Byron's day, encompassed what we now know as the Middle East from Iran to Morocco, the modern nation of Turkey, and the Balkans as well--modern Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the other Balkan nations. Byron traveled extensively in the Empire and learned about its history and customs. He then passed what he learned through his own romantic temperament and imagination, and through his fascination with men with darkly troubled souls and the women they love and who love them. In these five stories we find love and honor lost and won, hearts and cities conquered and broken, and a constant struggle to find something higher, deeper and finer in life than what comes to the common lot of humanity.
The first story, The Giaour, is about a Christian knight living in Ottoman Greece. The word "giaour" was the Ottoman term for any Christian. He falls in love with a woman from the Pacha's harem--a love unlikely to succeed.
The second story, The Bride of Abydos, is about the love of a man with a secret past for the daughter of a powerful local ruler. He reveals his secret to her, but only at the moment when war erupts between him and her father.
The Corsair, the third story, picks up on an idea that appears in The Bride of Abydos--the theme of pirates and piracy, an age-old reality of the Mediterranean Sea. An Ottoman ruler decides to destroy a famous corsair, who strikes first. The corsair loses the battle, but gains the love of the ruler's daughter, who frees him--only to encounter a great tragedy.
The fourth story, Lara, both is and is not a sequel to The Corsair. Characters and themes are carried over, but with many changes, and the feeling of the story is rema