Letters by poet Byron sell for record sum

Oct. 31, 2009 at 5:18 PM

LONDON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A series of letters written by the late British poet George Gordon Byron has sold for a world record $458,000, Sotheby's auction house in London said.

Sotheby's said the winning bid from this week's auction marked the largest amount paid for letters or a manuscript written by a British romantic poet, The Times of London reported Friday.

The letters were won by an anonymous bidder.

Byron reportedly used the 71 pages of handwritten notes to Francis Hodgson, a clergyman, to make written attacks on Christianity and detail a stormy affair with a servant girl.

Sotheby's specialist Gabriel Heaton said the unique subject matter of the letters, many of which are unpublished, offers a rare insight into the influential Romanticism literary figure.

"There has been particular interest in what this unique collection reveals about Byron as a poet, as well as the more sensitive and thoughtful side to a man most frequently recognized as one of history's most notorious Lotharios," Heaton told The Times.

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