Galt, Moore and Northcote on Don Juan
john galt, the Scottish novelist and man of letters, had travelled on the same ship as Byron from Gibraltar to Malta in 1809. This limited acquaintanceship encouraged him to produce a Life of Lord Byron, which was published in 1830. The following quotation is taken from the third edition, 1830, pp. 261-4. Thomas moore's biography of Byron is a notable achievement, but he had little critical insight, and the following remarks on Don Juan are of interest mainly as echoing widely held opinions. In picturing to oneself so awful an event as a shipwreck, its many horrors and perils are what alone offer themselves to ordinary fancies. But the keen, versatile imagination of Byron could detect in it far other details, and, at the same moment with all that is fearful and appalling in such a scene, could bring together all that is most ludicrous and low.