Lord Byron

The Romantic-era poet George Gordon, "Lord Byron" (1778-1824), figured in the erotic imaginations of both Blooms during their courtship: Leopold gave Molly a book of Byron's poems, and both she and he seem to have fancied that he possessed some likeness to the famous poet. But Byron's influence on Ulysses goes deeper than this. One of his early lyric poems describes the power of erotic kisses in ways that strongly shape a reader's understanding of Bloom, Molly, Stephen, and Joyce himself. The opening stanzas of Don Juan shed light on Joyce's decision to make his first erotic encounter with Nora the foundation of a new fictional world.

John Hunt and Doug Pope 2018

1813 oil portrait of Byron by Thomas Phillips, held in Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Byron looking "too beautiful for a man," in an 1837 enamel on copper portrait that Henry Pierce Bone made from an earlier painting by William Edward West. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Auguste Rodin's 1882 marble sculpture The Kiss (Francesca da Rimini). Source: www.galleryintell.com.

Edvard Munch, The Kiss, 1895 drypoint etching printed in brown ink, held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Source:www.metmuseum.org.

In Bed: The Kiss, 1892 oil painting by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Source: www.amazon.it.

1813 oil on canvas portrait of Byron by Richard Westall, held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Cover of CreateSpace edition of Don Juan (2009), featuring an 1880s self-portrait by Valentin Alexandrovich Serov. Source: www.amazon.com.