IoS paperback review: Childish Loves, By Benjamin Markovits


This final volume in Markovits's trilogy about Byron is a more experimental affair than the previous two novels.

The first gave us Byron from the perspective of Polidori, his doctor, who was present at the Villa Diodati the night Frankenstein was born, although this is shown via the manuscripts of a former fellow schoolteacher of Markovits's; the second is a straightforward historical novel about Bryon's disastrous marriage to the unfortunate Annabella Millbanke, and the third returns us to the author's colleagues' scripts, as he tries to find out what happened to him and why he bequeathed Markovits his work. This novel brilliantly brings together questions of legacy, the "writing life", heroism, betrayal and disillusionment, in clear, intelligent prose. It is a perfect finish to the trilogy.