And then there is Lord Byron… The poet, adventurer, satirist, and romantic whose poems, epic and otherwise, have been, for me, a gift that just keeps on giving. Besides Shaperspeare, I have never read another poet, writer, whose works I have more respect and love for. When I first moved to Los Angeles, and was dead broke, I used to go to this wonderful bookstore in Westwood Village and sit there and read for hours; and it was during that period that I decided to put to memory the works of my favorite writers, so that regardless of my situation in life I would always have within my brain a library so that I could easily recall the works and words that had so influenced my life. No writer’s works filled that library more than Lord Byron.

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 Throughout the book, she follows the map and journal that one of Byron’s associates left behind as a historical reference.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.



  1. It’s always comforting to find another Byron fan. Not many of us around.
    While I read a few of his poems in school, it was my stay in Greece that revealed the poet in all his splendor. To this day, “Darkness” makes me shiver. Ignoring your warning, since you’ve probably read more Byron, I’m going to read de Loo. I have to. I’m a fan of Kadare (from my stay in Kosovo) and her account of Byron’s travel through Albania intrigues me. It brings back memories of Kadare’s “The File on H.”
    Great review, Joe!


  2. Thanks Dan. For someone like you, I would just go ahead and read the book. But, for people who know very little about the man and have not read his works, they might be a little put off if they jump right into this book. It touches on some very sensitive behaviors, and that would be a crime if one decided not to read this brilliant poet, writer, because of his personal life and the many demons that followed him his entire life until his death.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s