‘There is a mad chap come here – whose name is Trelawny… He comes on the friend of Shelley, great, glowing, and rich in romance… But tell me who is this odd fish? They talk of him here as a camelion who went mad on reading Lord Byron’s ‘Corsair’.’ JOSEPH SEVERN
David Crane’s brilliant first book investigates the life and phenomenon of Edward John Trelawny – writer, adventurer, romantic and friend to Shelley and Byron. Very reminiscent of YoungHusband in its mix of biography, history and travel writing it is a sparkling debut.
Trelawny was, unquestionably, one of the great Victorians. He made a career from his friendship with Byron and Shelley and with his tales of glory from the Greek War of Independence. His story is one of betrayal and greed, of deluded idealism and physical courage played out against one of the most ferocious wars even the Balkans has seen.
There has been no general biography of Trelawny for nearly twenty years, no history of the philhellene role in the Greek War of Independence for even longer.