From Ravenna to Missolonghi: Shelley’s part in Byron’s last journey 

Thursday, September 12, 2024 - 17:00

From Ravenna to Missolonghi: Shelley’s part in Byron’s last journey a talk by Professor Roderick Beaton on Thursday 12 September at 5 p.m.


This talk argues that a key role in Lord Byron’s decision to commit himself to the cause of Greece in 1823 was played by his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley. The story begins with Shelley’s visit to Byron in Ravenna in August 1821, when the Greek Revolution was only 5 months old. It is well known that Shelley persuaded his friend to move home to Pisa; less well known is the evidence that Shelley’s persuasive powers were directed towards the revolution in Greece, to which he and his wife Mary were already enthusiastically committed. The unexpected tragedy of Shelley’s death by drowning on 8 July 1822 seems to have focused Byron’s mind still further on Greece, so that Shelley in death would prove even more influential in shaping the poet’s fateful decision, the next year, to dedicate himself to the cause that would lead to his own death at Missolonghi on 19 April 1824. 

Admission is Free, but booking is required due to the limited number of seats. Please write to



Roderick Beaton is Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London and currently Chair of the British School at Athens, one of the British International Research Institutes (BIRI) supported by the British Academy. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) and Commander of the Order of Honour of the Hellenic Republic. His books include Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013), the co-edited volume (with Dr Christine Kenyon-Jones) Byron: The Poetry of Politics and the Politics of Poetry (2017), and most recently The Greeks: A Global History (2021).