Tessa DE Loo’s, “In Byron’s Footsteps,” is a real gem. Ms DE Loo’s book is a chronicle of her adventures through Albania, after the fall of Communism. She and her colleagues follow the very path that Lord Byron and his entourage took two hundred years earlier when very little was known about the area, and it still did not have a national identity. Throughout the book, she follows the map and journal that one of Byron’s associates left behind as a historical reference. At each stop she writes in her own diary, addressing Byron himself, her impressions of the villages and towns that he passed through and how they had changed and in some ways stayed the same two centuries later.
In so doing she gives us a history of the country, historical facts about the great poet, and at times using his own words, poems, to describe her feelings and emotions throughout her journey. For a fan of Lord Byron, this book was like a great discovery, an absolute treasure. For people, who have never read Byron, and plan to in the future, I would hold off on this book.
Ms DE Loo, author of “The Twins,” is now one of my favorite new writers. Thanks, Hans, for introducing this amazing lady to me.