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Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’
Home|Special Collections Exhibitions|Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’|Napoleon: Emperor, expectation & exile|26. ‘On the Star of “The Legion of Honour” (From the French)’, 1815 

26. ‘On the Star of “The Legion of Honour” (From the French)’, 1815

NLS NG.1583.d.23

Opening from work showing published poem.‘On the Star of “The Legion of Honour” (From the French)’, 1815, NLS NG.1583.d.23The inspiration for this poem may have been a cross of the Légion d’honneur sent to Byron from Paris by Lady Caroline Lamb in September 1815. Napoleon had instituted the order of the Légion d’honneur in 1802 as a decoration for exceptional civil or military conduct.

The poem was published six months after it was written, first anonymously in The Examiner and then by Murray in Byron’s Poems (1816). The publication of the poem on the eve of his self-imposed exile from Britain may be seen as a parting declaration of Byron’s continuing obsession with Napoleon and his rejection of the ruling Tory party and the society he felt had rejected him.



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