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Jan 20 1812 Lord Byron's Club Foot


On January 16, 1812, Henry Crabb Robinson writes in his diary:

...In the evening at Coleridge's lecture. Conclusion of Milton. Not one of the happiest of Coleridge's efforts. Rogers was there, and with him was Lord Byron. He was wrapped up, but I recognized his club foot, and, indeed, his countenance and general appearance.

John Galt, in his The life of Lord Byron (1830) describes the effect of having a club foot on Lord Byron this way:

The greatest weakness in Lord Byron's character was a morbid sensibility to his lameness. He felt it with as much vexation as if it had been inflicted ignominy. One of the most striking passages in some memoranda which he has left of his early days, is where, in speaking of his own sensitiveness on the subject of his deformed foot, he described the feeling of horror and humiliation that came over him when his mother, in one of her fits of passion, called him a "lame brat." 
The sense which Byron always retained of the innocent fault in his foot was unmanly and excessive; for it was not greatly conspicuous, and he had a mode of walking across a room by which it was scarcely at all perceptible. I was several days on board the same ship with him before I happened to discover the defect; it was indeed so well concealed, that I was in doubt whether his lameness was the effect of a temporary accident, or a malformation, until I asked Mr Hobhouse.




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