Just One More Transient Piece of Mine…

While listening to the radio on this Valentine’s Day, the song Bad Romance by Lady GaGa has been on the play list more than once!

I want your love

And I want your revenge

You and me could write a bad romance

I want your love and

All your love is revenge

You and me could write a bad romance

Bad Romance © 2010 Lady GaGa

Given what was happening in the personal life of our Poet in February 1816 as his marriage was coming apart amid rumour, accusation and revenge; the lyrics of Lady GaGa’s Bad Romance would probably have struck a note of empathy with Byron despite a distance of some 200 years!

The story of Byron’s brief marriage lasted some 54 weeks and until her death in 1860, Lady Byron, the estranged wife was to spend a further 44 years ensuring that the story of her marriage was told and was continued to be told by her family and supporters for many years after.

And it remains a story that continues to be told today.

But at a distance of some 201 years, does it really matter why his marriage ended?

For it was the failure of his marriage that was to be the catalyst to his departure from England, his life as an exiled Poet and his return to England in 1824 as a corpse.

In exile he was to write some of his most brilliant poetry including the magnificent Don Juan and the wonderful The Prisoner of Chillon and he was also to vent his fury on the hypocrisy, political failings and “cant” of his country of birth!

In his years of exile Byron continued to provoke controversy, sympathy and anger in England which created an impression of a sinister and seductive ‘bad man’ and despite Byron’s profound and glorious poetry, it is this impression that remains most prevalent.

In 1975 Paul Simon wrote the song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and inspired by the great lyrics of this song, I have written a unique interpretation titled Five Reasons to Leave My Lover by Lady Byron circa 1817.

I say it’s really not my habit

To intrude

Furthermore, I hope my meaning

Won’t be lost or misconstrued

But I’ll repeat myself

At the risk of being crude

There really are five reasons

To leave my lover

Five reasons to leave my lover

Reason One: The Theatre of Infidelity

I lost my brooch in the carriage last night. If you receive this before anything is said about it you will then be on your guard and can say what you think proper…..

Pray be at the theatre on Friday night

Susan Boyce (November 15 1815)

The ‘Byron Box’ at the Drury Lane Theatre in London photographed by the Polite Tourist…

By November 1815, Byron had been married for 11 months and his first child – a legitimate child, would be born in a handful of weeks and he was fed-up, worried, bored and looking for excitement.

At the time he was on the Management of the Sub-Committee of Drury Lane with responsibility for the consideration of any number of plays, the recruitment of potential writers, some theatre production, participation in lively and chaotic committee discussions, policy decisions on seating prices and personal intrigues with the actresses in the ‘Greenroom’.

He became involved in an affair with an actress called Susan Boyce who became increasingly indiscreet and they were spotted emerging from ‘a dark corner’ in Byron’s private box by the Poet Samuel Rogers.

However, true to form Byron’s attention soon waned and Susan was to write tearful letters to him:

My Lord,

I must give vent to my feelings or I shall burst.

…..You never spoke to me at all: that I do not mind, but your going away without saying goodnight, had I not run after you, and then I saw something very particular in your manner.

Remember I was at the Theatre by your own appointment….

Their affair played out like a tragic comedy with humiliation, alienation and unemployment for poor Susan and for Byron however, he was forced to admit the affair to his lady.

Although he was to inform her of his indiscretion whilst under the influence of brandy which probably would not have helped his cause as Lady Byron was to later recollect:

The first time that he obliged me to know that he had a mistress, he asked me if I meant to forgive him.

I cordially forgave him for this – on which he said with a sneer ‘Generous Woman!’ & declared his intention of pursuing the same course.

Although he was to acknowledge in his letters to Lady Byron after she had left him, of his feelings of regret and repentance about the affair with Susan, sadly, there were no regrets or apologies for Susan as his letter to Douglas Kinnaird in 1821 reads:

….she was a transient piece of mine – but I owe her little on that score – having been myself at the short period I knew her in such a state of mind and body – that all carnal connection was quite mechanical & almost as senseless to my senses as to my feelings of imagination. – – Advance the poor creature some money on my account…….

To conclude, we end NOT with the following words written by Lady Byron but by the poor Susan Boyce: I will promise to give myself to you with all my heart, to devote my whole time and affection to you and you only….

In sympathy with Lady GaGa, Byron’s spouse would bide her time and revenge!
I want your love

And I want your revenge

You and me could write a bad romance.

Bad Romance © 2010 LadyGaGa

One wonders if Lady Byron would have been appreciative of the Theatre of Cruelty, the surrealist form of theatre as theorised by Antonin Artaud for she did flatter herself as a disciple of metaphysics on which the principle facts of Artaud’s thesis relate which is the search for truth through Enlightenment!

 To be continued.

Sources Used:

Byron’s Letters and Journals, Ed. Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray, 1973-97)

Lord Byron’s Wife, Malcolm Elwin (London: John Murray, 1962)

To Lord Byron, Ed. George Paston, Peter Quennell (London: John Murray, 1939)

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It’s February and the Outlook Looks Sticky for the Arctic Monkeys AND Lord Byron!

One of my favourite songs is by the Arctic Monkeys called Black Treacle taken from their fabulous album Suck It and See…

Now it’s getting dark and the sky looks sticky

More like black treacle than tar

Black treacle…

Ah, ah! I know what you are thinking! Black treacle and Lord Byron?

Well, let me explain for over 202 years ago, our noble Poet had enjoyed his honeymoon with Annabella Milbanke at Halnaby Hall, a Milbanke ancestral abode in Croft-on-Tees after their wedding at Seaham Hall, the other Milbanke abode on Monday January 2 1815.

However, to sound a note of caution and in the light of the varying recollections, scandals and innuendo that have surrounded Byron’s fated marriage throughout history, perhaps my use of the word ‘enjoyed’ should not be taken too literally for in a letter to his friend Tom Moore, Byron had written:

…the treaclemoon is over, and I am awake, and find myself married. My spouse and I agree to – and in- admiration. Swift says “no wise man ever married”; but, for a fool, I think it is the most ambrosial of all possible future states.

I still think one ought to marry upon lease; but am very sure I would renew mine at the expiration, though next term were for ninety and nine years.

I wish you would respond…

treacle-series-by-tara-keatinge

 As it is hardly the missive of an enamoured bridegroom, it is perhaps not surprising that the celebrated author of Irish Melodies struggled to respond.

However, as I have no problems with my response to treacle, either to eat nor to listen to, I shall bid you an adieu for now!

Does it help you stay up late?

Does it help you concentrate?

Does it tune you in when you chew your chin?

Am I ruining your fun?

Sources Used:
Black Treacle Arctic Monkeys (EMI Music Publishing Ltd 2011)
Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 4 (1814-1815) Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1975)

Creating to Empty My Mind!

The poet Lord Byron once said “IF I don’t write to empty my mind, I will go mad” and when I think back to that fateful day many years ago when curiosity got the better of me and I picked up a copy of Dolls’ House Magazine in my local supermarket which then went on to change my life – I understand where the man was coming from!

Hello! My name is Tee Bylo and as well as ‘Blogging about Byron’, I am an artist and storyteller creating life in 12th scale…

Having created an eclectic number of ‘Small Worlds’ over the years with many now in private collections; my most recent 12th scale ventures include the expansion of the Mouse Town (both in real estate AND with more mice!) the ambitious design for another ‘Nicole’s House’ and with my passion for the unique and mystical, I’m also creating more weird and wonderful emporiums and abodes populated by the mythical folk of the All Hallows Hamlet.

Vampyres, Werewolves and Zombies. Oh My! Better Have Some Holy Water at the Ready…

And with a passion for anything Lord Byron, I love to escape to the year 1815 at 13 Piccadilly Terrace as I fluff the pillows, arrange the flowers and stoke the fires in the home inspired by the life of this fabulous poet.

Self-taught and armed with plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage, clay, glue and lots of imagination, I design my ‘Small Worlds’ using whatever is around me at the time including scrap MDF, cardboard boxes, model kits, a huge plant pot, a tatty dolls house, some chicken wire, a tree stump and even a grotty, old waste bin.

AND wait until you see the ‘Small Worlds’ I plan to create with an abandoned bicycle wheel, a plastic paint tub and one very large wire mesh basket once used to store a giant firework!

I once jokingly calculated that I would need to live another 250 years to create my dream projects into 12th scale reality.

Remember how I told you about the magazine that changed my life? Well, some years later I was offered a monthly ‘Tee Time’ column and for one glorious year I got to share my 12th scale musings along with the triumphs, tears and the delicious cake that I had enjoyed and I was paid for it too!

But why am I now on Patreon, you ask?

Having done the parenting bit for my two amazing sons, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable brother in 2014 and life became difficult with time and financial independence diminished and a wish that sometimes I could live a million miles away BUT as I have continued to dream, plan and create new ‘Small Worlds’ either at home or in the studio and even in my shed at the bottom of the garden; I have come to understand that a loss of freedom can also be strangely liberating!

A few days ago, I discovered the quote by Lewis Carroll that “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality” and right now, my imagination is all that I have as it gives me the freedom to create and to write stories as I keep moving forward on this road less travelled and it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too!

Your kind support will enable me to create my ‘Small Worlds’ and keep the shelves of my two Etsy stores fully stocked with my uniquely designed miniatures.

Welcome to the Yorvik Faerie Etsy Gift Shop…

I could finally publish the adventures of a Little Big Cat in a picture book to be cherished and enjoyed by children and adults alike and the anticipated coffee-table book about Nicole’s House due for publication in late 2018 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who inspired the creation of this 12th scale house.

‘Twas the Night before Christmas and I Spy Paw Prints in the Flour at 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

And I could continue to make the world a better place one mouse at a time!

What is this Death? A Candle in Memory of Lord Byron…

With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of ‘Tee Time’ rewards for you to enjoy and there’s a 10% Etsy discount too!

You can cancel your pledge at any time and if you are unable to pledge – that’s OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much – Thank you!

To Number 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

Imagine if you could step back in time to your favourite world? Where would that be?

Without a doubt mine would be the world synonymous with the romance of Jane Austen, the elegance of Beau Brummell and the fascinating life of the poet Lord Byron!

Byron once said that ‘Of all romances in miniature… perhaps this is the best shape in which Romance can appear’ and as an artist who loves to create a scene and not only of the hysterical kind, it is perhaps only to be expected that I would create a Regency inspired miniature and so without further ado, let’s knock on the door of 13 Piccadilly Terrace and enjoy a house call in the Year 1815…

At Home with the Doyenne of All Things Lord Byron…

Tee Bylo loves Regency history as a well as creating life in 12th scale and has combined the two with her creation of the ‘Ghost of Piccadilly’ inspired by Lord Byron’s address at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in London in the year 1815 and where the Poet lived with his wife the former Annabella Milbanke who he had married only two months previously on a bitterly cold January day and on an equally cold day in December, their only daughter Augusta Ada Lovelace was born.

The house is complete with a basement kitchen and attic rooms reflecting the architecture, interior design, furniture and the lifestyle of Byron and that of his circle and comments made in letters to and from the Poet have given Tee a fabulous understanding into his life at Piccadilly Terrace; an atmosphere she has now sought to recreate in miniature.

As an enthusiastic blogger, Tee has shared her progress of life inside No 13 allowing her passion for Lord Byron to reach other fans of the Poet as well as those who enjoy the miniature art form and here are just some of the many questions that Tee has been asked!

What’s the Story Behind the Creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
The idea for the creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace began in the summer of 2009 after watching and more than once, the BBC adaptation of Byron featuring the delightful Jonny Lee Miller as His Lordship and the idea for the Ghost of Piccadilly was inspired by Byron’s life at this London address during that eventful year of 1815.

Is 13 Piccadilly Terrace a ‘Real’ Model?
Yes, it is a ‘real’ model’ which has been created in 12th scale primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

Although No 13 began life as a Sid Cooke kit comprising of simple pieces of MDF and Plywood, the original design has been ‘tweaked’ with false walls and side windows – the creation of which has been entirely my work.

And How Large is 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
The house measures 70cm in width and 132m in height with a depth of 64cm and has 13 rooms – which is rather appropriate for this particular model!

Was the Design Process of 13 Piccadilly Terrace a Dream to Create or a Nightmare?
The journey from bare wood to the creation of an atmospheric grand house was a challenge!

As was choosing the interior design with the appropriate colour scheme, the elaborate woodwork and the plastered ceiling decoration for the dining room, ALL of which resulted in more than a few headaches AND sleepless nights!

However, the basement kitchen WAS a dream to create!
With inspiration drawn from the Georgian kitchen at Fairfax House in York, the effect was realised with the use of a piece of foam board, a pot of plaster filler, a cheap vinyl floor tile and some bought pieces for the fireplace from an independent dolls’ house supplier.

​​And Your Plans for 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
As No 13 remains a work in progress, there’s plenty to keep me occupied as there are still beds to be made, the family portraits to hang, a wedding to arrange AND an elaborate supper for the Twelfth Night to serve up.

I am also hopeful that an exquisite gilt chair in the style of Louis XV and upholstered in the most delightful fabric may FINALLY find its way to the drawing room!

How Can I Follow the Stories About Lord Byron’s House?
As well as sharing the stories from Piccadilly Terrace on the website, you can also follow the news from Number 13 on InstagramFlickrTwitterFacebook and Google+

And you can now also join me as I party like it’s 1815 from Lord B’s Abode on the Piccadilly Terrace blog.

Tell Me the Attraction of Lord Byron?
It was Byron himself who once described himself as ‘Being the fashion; it’s absurd but I can’t help it’ and the attraction of this handsome, unconventional poet who was also a talented and very witty man of letters is just one explanation of his timeless appeal.

He was arguably the first celebrity of our age with a fascinating personality of irreverence, humour, controversy and political idealism and as such he remains just a potent today as he did over 200 years ago as he cut a swathe through London society.

How Can I Learn More About Your Work?
You can discover more about my work on the official website Tee Bylo or on my blog Creating Life in 12th Scale… and you can also support me and my work on the crowdfunding site Patreon.

I can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Can I Share the Information and the Images from the Ghost of Piccadilly on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all I ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit me and my work. Thank you!