When Byron was asked if he would be prepared to contribute the lyrics to a book of Hebrew Melodies, he was at the height of his fame. But although he was the most popular poet of his day, he was not content to continue writing the oriental tales that sustained his public profile. Nor did he have any impetus to add another canto to Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, the poem which had made him famous in the first place. Tired of London society's seemingly endless round of balls and parties, he was courting the serious-minded and pious Annabella Milbanke, and it could be argued that Hebrew Melodies represents, in part, a concern with religious themes which derives from their conversations.
When the Jewish composer I…
Mole, Tom. "Hebrew Melodies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
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