Lord Byron (1788-1824)
The Two Foscari : an historical tragedy in five acts 1821
Original autograph ms, Ravenna, 12 June to 9 July 1821 52 leaves, in conjoint pairs mounted on guards: pairs numbered 1-26. Later title-page, and dedicatory note to Sir Walter Scott, bound in front | 38.7 x 26.7 x 1.8 cm (book measurement (conservation)) | RCIN 1047665
Bound in red morocco, blind-tooled: title in gold on spine
Byron spent much of his voluntary exile in Venice, the setting for this tragedy, the trial for treason of Jacopo Foscari by the Doge, his father. It was there that he became infatuated with Theresa, Countess Guiccioli, whom he followed to Ravenna.
The manuscript, published in 1821 by John Murray, remained with Murray’s descendants until 1893, when his grandson, also John Murray, presented it to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (later Queen Mary) for her birthday, shortly before her marriage to the Duke of York. Early in the 20th century she placed it in the Royal Library.
ProvenancePresented to Queen Mary as Princess Victoria Mary, by John Murray, 28 May 1893.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) (author)
London : M.M. Holloway (binder)
Medium & Techniques
Original autograph ms, Ravenna, 12 June to 9 July 1821 52 leaves, in conjoint pairs mounted on guards: pairs numbered 1-26. Later title-page, and dedicatory note to Sir Walter Scott, bound in front
38.7 x 26.7 x 1.8 cm (book measurement (conservation))
39.0 x 2.0 cm (book measurement (inventory))
- printed & manuscript material
Peter Bower, an independent paper consultant who was visiting as part of the conservation open day on 4 July 2013, informed Bridget that the paper used by Byron in this manuscript is almost certainly Italian. Mediterranean paper tends to be whiter than paper produced in Northern Europe due to differences in washing clothes, which became the rags which made up the paper. Bridget Wright , 4 Jul 2013