chapter  65
2 Pages

Chesterton on Byron s optimism


In his essay on ‘The Optimism of Byron’ (Twelve Types, 1902, pp. 31–44), G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) draws an amusing contrast between Byron’s pessimism and that of the fin de siècle : ‘Byronism tended towards the desert; the new pessimism towards the restaurant.’ But he argues that Byron’s ostensible pessimism is evidence of his basic optimism (op. cit., pp. 39, 41–4).