chapter  VII
Pages 42

W e must not, o f course, suppose that our analyses have given us the exact truth and certainly they have not given us the whole truth. Nevertheless, I shall next offer a brief account o f what they suggest, stating it,

for simplicity, as a factual narrative. First, we turn to Lady Byron. Soon after the marriage Byron told

her o f his homosexual propensities, sometimes regarding them as sinful, at others defending them; and among the troubles o f 1815 she was disturbed by his association with the theatre, and in particular with Colman and others o f ‘notoriety’ (p. 206). She had also become involved-why we do not know-in the illicit relationship with her husband. She may have been herself in part responsible, for it would be a grave error in human insight to suppose, just because she was outwardly a woman o f strict morality, that she was not capable o f a passionate abandon. It did not prevent her living ‘conjugally’ with him up to the last (p. 56), and she left him in the mood o f her facetious letters. But she was genuinely anxious concerning his mental state, and told her people o f it, saying something o f his homosexual theories; and since the doctor could not regard his state as pathological, the Noels decided on a separation. But it was not until her own visit to Dr. Lushington that she revealed the marriage secret. This she may have done as a means to force the separation which she desired for other reasons; or because she had only now learned its wickedness; or because Mrs. Clermont, whom she had in her ‘too confiding disposition’ (p. 99) told o f it, was threatening to make it known were the marriage not disrupted. Perhaps, too, Mrs. Clermont had told her that she had been made to ‘enact the Ganymede’ (p. 188) as a substitute; and her pride was involved. Pressure on all sides, pride and morality, all forced her, though the agony was severe, to part.