She had spurned the attention of the poet on their first meeting, subsequently giving Byron what became his lasting epitaph when she described him as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." His response was to pursue her passionately.Lady Caroline and Lord Byron publicly decried each other as they privately pledged their love over the following months. Byron referred to Lamb by the hypocorism "Caro", which she adopted as her public nickname. After Byron broke things off, her husband took the disgraced and desolate Lady Caroline to Ireland. The distance did not cool Lady Caroline's interest in the poet; she and Byron corresponded constantly during her exile. When Lady Caroline returned to London in 1813; however, Byron made it clear he had no intention of re-starting their relationship. This spurred what could be characterized as the first recorded case of celebrity stalking as she made increasingly public attempts to reunite with her former lover.Lady Caroline's obsession with Byron would define much of her later life and as well as influence both her and Byron's works. They would write poems in the style of each other, about each other, and even embed overt messages to one another in their verse. After a thwarted visit to Byron's home, Lady Caroline wrote "Remember Me!" into the flyleaf of one of Byron's books. He responded with the hate poem; "Remember thee! Remember thee!; Till Lethe quench life’s burning stream; Remorse and shame shall cling to thee, And haunt thee like a feverish dream! Remember thee! Ay, doubt it not. Thy husband too shall think of thee! By neither shalt thou be forgot, Thou false to him, thou fiend to me!"***In 1819, Lamb put her ability to mimic Byron to use in the narrative poem "A New Canto." Years before, Lamb had impersonated Byron in a letter to his publishers in order to have them send her a portrait of Byron. It worked; the tone and substance of her request fooled them into sending the painting.***Lamb's struggle with mental instability became more pronounced in her last years, complicated by her abuse of alcohol and laudanum. By 1827, she was under the care of a full-time physician as her body, which had always been frail, began to shut down.
Friday, October 14, 2011
S + BPD: Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb
People often remark in the comments sections that sociopaths and borderlines seem made for each other. This is what I was thinking as I read the Wikipedia account of Lady Caroline Lamb, spurned-lover come stalker of Lord Byron: