Lord George Gordon Byron was a legendary English poet, as famous in his lifetime for his personality cult as for his poetry. “The Corsair”, published in 1814, tells the story of Conrad, a wild and ruthless Aegean pirate whose only virtue is the love he feels for the gentle Medora. There is nothing remarkable about his appearance, Byron tells us, but beneath the quiet exterior there is passion, pride and a defiant, calculated callousness, characteristics that set him apart from other men. Brutalised by childhood ill-treatment, detested and feared, Conrad is a lonely tragic hero who is destined never to enjoy peace or happiness. The Corsair was an immediate success, confirming Byron’s importance as the most popular and influential poet of his generation. Enjoy the reading.