Works: Gordon: A Tale, A Poetical Review of Don Juan

London:  T. and J. Allman, 1821.

Consists of two cantos of 41 and 71 stanzas, respectively, and footnotes, totalling 79 pages. 

The Preface reads as follows:

The amazing fecundity of Lord Byron's genius, as proved by his last production, Don Juan, is universally acknowledged. But while the sublimity of his intellect transports us with astonishment, we are, on the other hand, deeply grieved to find he exerts his powerful talents only to destroy what is beneficial to man—Morality.  Viewing him and his production in this light, has given birth to the following Poem, which is partly a burlesque parody on the style of Don Juan; partly a sacrifice of praise offered at the shrine of talent, and partly arguments proving its immoral tendency. It need only be added, this Poem was written long before the appearance of the three Cantos of Don Juan recently published, and at a time when it was doubtful whether his Lordship would continue the Tale.  Had Don Juan been confined to the two first Cantos, it is more than probable the following Poem would have been limited within the circle of the Author’s friends.


Monthly Review New Series.  London.  v.96 (1823): 325-36.  An omnibus review of three books, beginning, “Here is a third in the list, and belonging to the third degree of comparison:  bad, worse, worst.  Charity is said to “cover a multitude of sins,” and surely a multitude of our sins (if unfortunately they are so numerous) must be expiated by the penanace which wew undergo in reading such productions as this!  We apprehend that it is the effot of a very young writer; and we sincerely hope that he will suffer many, many, suns and moons to rise and set, to grow and wane, before he re-commits himself to the press, and again attempts the chair of the critic or the car of the poet. . . .”

The Gentlemen's Magazine: and Historical Chronicle v. 92 (1822): 48-50. Review of Gordon: A Tale together with Byron's Don Juan, Cantos III, IV, and V. It quotes Gordon's preface stating that it is "a poem which is partly a burlesque parody on the style of Don Juan, etc. . . . ." The reviewer believes its "lines are occasionally of high character," and quotes Canto I, stanzas 29 and 33 to prove that this is so. But since the reviewer has little taste for Don Juan in the first place, the tribute of Gordon doesn't appeal: ". . . we never could vindicate the taste with which Don Juan has been brought upon our stage, and heartily wish that it had from the first been prohibited by the Lord Chamberlain. It seems to us just as disgusting as fitting up a charnel-house like Vauxhall; as taking the history of the villanies, debaucheries, murders, trial, execution, and judgment after death of an accomplished impenitent criminal, and decorating these horrors with all the fairy charms of pleasurable and attractive embellishments, the awful sympathy excited by a ghost, and the sportive tricks of an ingenious buffoon."