An "ebullition of passion" for his cousin Margaret Parker in 1800 inspired his "first dash into poetry." When she died two years later, he composed "On the Death of a Young Lady"; throughout his life poetic expression would serve him as a catharsis of strong emotion.
At Harrow (1801-1805), he excelled in oratory, wrote verse, and played sports, even cricket.
Years later he told Thomas Medwin that all his "fables about the celestial nature of women" originated from "the perfection" his imagination created in Mary Chaworth.
Early in 1804 he began an intimate correspondence with his half sister, Augusta, five years his senior.
In November 1806 he distributed around Southwell his first book of poetry.
, printed at his expense and anonymously, collects the poems inspired by his early infatuations, friendships, and experiences at Harrow, Cambridge, and elsewhere.
In his dynamism, sexuality, self-revelation, and demands for freedom for oppressed people everywhere, Byron captivated the Western mind and heart as few writers have, stamping upon nineteenth-century letters, arts, politics, even clothing styles, his image and name as the embodiment of Romanticism.
George Gordon Noel Byron was born, with a clubbed right foot, in London on 22 January 1788, the son of Catherine Gordon of Gight, an impoverished Scots heiress, and Captain John ("Mad Jack") Byron, a fortune-hunting widower with a daughter, Augusta.
With the death in 1798 of his great-uncle, the "Wicked" fifth Lord Byron, George became the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale, heir to Newstead Abbey, the family seat in Nottinghamshire.
He enjoyed the role of landed nobleman, proud of his coat of arms with its mermaid and chestnut horses surmounting the motto "Crede Byron" ("Trust Byron").
From his Presbyterian nurse Byron developed a lifelong love for the Bible and an abiding fascination with the Calvinist doctrines of innate evil and predestined salvation.