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7703

MILBANKE, Ralph (1839-1906) | Astarte: a Fragment of Truth Concerning George Gordon Byron ,

£50.00

New edition with many additional letters, edited by Mary Countess of Lovelace

London : Christophers 1921

Large 8vo. xxix, (3), 363, (1) pp. 11 plates (with tissue-guards) and two facsimiles of letters plus a folding genealogical table. Buff cloth spine over pale blue paper-covered boards with title label lettered in black to the front board. Spine worn at the head with a title label, now stained though clearly legible. A few blotches to the boards. Page edges rough cut. Ex.libris W.A. Foyle of Ilfra Lodge, Great North Road, with his charming bookplate showing a set of scales tipped in a favour of a small pile of books set against a large pile of gold coins, with the slogan, “there are the scale I hold | for books to me are more than gold”.

Ralph Milbanke, second earl of Lovelace wrote “Astarte” as a labour of his old age, It was first published in 1905 in an edition of 200 copies. Lovelace was the grandson of Lord Byron and was raised by Lady Byron after the early death of his mother, Ada Byron King, in 1852. His grandmother’s ideas about education were peculiar, but he respected the wilful old lady and upon her death in 1860 determined to vindicate her reputation from the injuries it had received from friends and foes alike. To that end, it was necessary for him to discover the truth about relations between Byron, Lady Byron, and Augusta Leigh that had been the subject of rumour and speculation for as long as he could remember. More than three decades of research went into the writing of “Astarte”, the book that did just that.

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