George Gordon, Lord Byron

  (1788 - 1824)


His right foot and lower leg
Byron was born with a deformed right foot and lower leg, which was often called a 'club foot' at the time and since, but more recently, based on a study of the special boots made for him, it is thought that it was rather a dysplasia or failure of the limb to form properly, giving him a 'grotesquely thin calf and a small foot'.

Sir Denis Browne's article1 on Byron's lameness explains:

It is important to realize that none of the treatment, painful and embarrassing though it was, that Byron suffered as a boy, could have had the slightest influence on his deformity.

It was a deformity of which he was acutely aware throughout life, and a succession of painful treatments during childhood under various practitioners failed to correct it.

Byron's Boot
Byron's Boot, The Science Museum, London

1. Browne, Denis, The Problem of Byron's Lameness, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (1960, Jun, 440-442)

The poet biographies, criticism, translations, and textual notes on this site are the copyright of Paul Scott