In memory of Lord Byron (1819).
Lord Byron died on this day, April 19th, 1824. Seeking a respite from turmoil in his personal life, Byron moved to Venice in 1816. Soon after his arrival, he occupied himself with learning the Armenian language and studied under the tutelage of Father Paschal Aucher of the island Monastery of Saint Lazarus (San Lazzaro degli Armeni). His relationship with Aucher and the other monks, who’s learning he admired, evolved quickly and Byron soon became involved in the production of two grammars that were underway. The first was an English grammar in Armenian, entitled Grammar, English and Armenian (Venice: Printed at the Press of the Armenian Academy, 1817), which Byron financed, promoted through his publisher, and supplied some modest support to the English translations. The second was the book pictured here, an Armenian grammar in English entitled A Grammar, Armenian and English (Venice: Printed at the Press of the Armenian Academy, 1819), to which Byron is thought to have supplied several translations of Armenian poems. Byron is not named in the publication, but a thoughtful owner of this particular copy supplied the story of Byron’s role in manuscript on a single leaf bound into the book. Pictured is the the two title pages included with the book, the manuscript leaf, and a detail of page 17 of the text.