Box icon Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828)

Byron's infamous lover

Portrait of Caroline Lamb

Although eccentric, controversial and lacking in formal education, Lady Caroline Lamb was also a confident, witty and well-read member of the aristocracy. After reading Lord Byron's 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' (1812) she became determined to meet the poet. When she did she fell obsessively in love with him, despite being married to William Lamb.

Lamb and Byron's short, heated and public affair scandalised society. After Byron ended their relationship she found it very difficult to accept it was over and continued to obsess over him. Once Byron had moved abroad, John Murray II acted as a middle man, dealing with her obsessive and eccentric behaviour. Lamb's first, semi-biographical, novel 'Glenarvon' (1816) offended many, including Byron.

Despite the Byron affair, William and Caroline Lamb stayed together. After her death William Lamb went on, as Lord Melbourne, to become Prime Minister and one of Queen Victoria's trusted advisers.

Highlighted items from the archive

NRA Name: Lamb, Lady Caroline (1785-1828) né Ponsonby, novelist.

The National Register of Archives (NRA) contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history in archival holdings in the UK and overseas. You can find more information on the National Register of Archives name authority catalogue.

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Film still of Curator Rachel Beattie
Watch our film about Lady Caroline Lamb.

'The cleverest most agreeable, absurd, amiable, perplexing, dangerous fascinating little being that lives now or ought to have lived 2000 years ago.'
– Letter from Byron to Lamb, circa April 1812.

Related links on the web:

Lady Caroline Lamb website

Location where Caroline Lamb lived out her last days:
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