This volume completes the Oxford English Texts edition of Byron's Poetical Works. Included here are the poems from the last two years of Byron's life, 1823-4, when he decided to leave Italy to join the Greeks in their struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. Three major works date from this period - the neglected late satire, The Age of Bronze; Byron's treatment of the Bounty mutiny, The Island; and his greatest lyric poem, 'January 22nd 1824. Messalonghi. On this day I complete my thirty-sixth year.' Several new poems are added to the corpus, two in the regular sequence of works set down in 1980, and three others in Appendix C. An important feature of this volume is its set of appendices dealing with the corpus of Byron's work. Of special signficance are those detailing all relevant information about attributed and spurious Byron poems. This material is important not only for establishing a reliable corpus of the work, but also as a fundamental resource for the study of the Byron legend. Included here are the texts of newly authenticated poems and of attributed poems which have some reasonable claim to authenticity, as well as a list of unauthentic poems.
The latter augments the list given in Volume I of this edition. This material is followed by a discussion of Byron forgeries; and a list of corrections and additions to Volumes I-V. This volume also contains comprehensive indexes of titles, of first lines, and of all the poems by volume and page number, and a general index.
`landmark edition ... long awaited by all who treasure Byron's poetry. Our work and our lasting pleasure are alike cut out for us.'
Stuart Curran, Keats-Shelley Journal
`McGann's work, the first in seventy-five years to attempt a systematic critical editing of the entire corpus, fulfils a genuine need for an authoritative edition in our day ... McGann, by means of this edition, has placed Byron scholarship on a new footing.'
Frederick I. Beaty, Studies in Romanticism
`if the remaining volumes are comparable to the first three, this will be one of the finest editions we have of any of the Romantic poets ... an edition ... which anyone seeking the fullest possible information about Byron's poetry must now regard as canonical.'
Ian Jack, Review
`The editorial thoroughness that marked volume one ... is fully sustained in the subsequent volumes ... This edition is going to be compulsory for serious students of Byron'
Allan Rodway, Times Higher Education Supplement
`The edition is a notable achievement and will be indispensable for Byron scholars.'
Andrew Rutherford, Notes and Queries
`McGann has done Byron an invaluable service, restoring to his work the complexity and significance for so long stripped from it by formalist readings. Now that the final volume is in place, it is possible to look back over the entire Clarendon edition and be grateful for more than its many corrections of fact and discoveries about the circumstances of composition ... or its restoration of corrupt or omitted lines of text.'
New York Review
'the Garland facsimiles are indispensable ... They also underline the staggering nature of the task McGann undertook in preparing the Clarendon edition, and the magnitude of his achievement. Now that the final volume is in place, it is possible to look back over the entire Clarendon edition and be grateful ... McGann's attention to Byron's politics, his emphasis on the subtlety and daring of his bawdy, richness of allusion, and the range and essential
cohesion of his work, have made it easier to understand the poet's colossal European reputation.'
The New York Review
'the staggering nature of the task McGann undertook in preparing the Clarendon edition, and the magnitude of his achievement ... it is difficult to see how McGann could have been expected to pack in much more'
Anne Barton, The New York Review
London review of Books
'Congratulations to professor McGann on bringing to conclusion the seventh and final volume of Byron's peotical works. ... a magnificent edition ...'
Francis Berry. Winchester. Notes and Queries Vol 41 June '94
'the Oxford Poetical Works is as near to being truly 'definitive' as wer are entitled to expect ... characteristically helpful commentary ... One of the richest general indexes I have read, compiled by Carol B. Pearson, rounds off this important resource for the study of Byronism and the Byron corpus. Those who have found the editor's annotation in past volumes sometimes rather underdeveloped will be pleased that on this occasion he has consistently
followed his own best standards of deftly combining hard informatin withsuggestive critical insights. Comprehensiveness, is a legitimate scholarly goal, and wthe whole apparatus is so arranged that different
readers will easily be able to select the categories most useful to them. ... the texts are handsomely printed in readable and accessible form and no route to understanding and further exploration is left unopened.'
Vincent Newey. Byron Journal '94