Contents Index

became the neighbours of Lord Byron

Mary Shelley makes the intimacy with Lord Byron sound almost accidental. In fact, it was all carefully arranged by Claire Clairmont, Mary's step-sister, who in a bizarre case of oneupmanship that trumped Mary's affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley, had managed to seduce Byron two days before he departed England in April 1816. By the time the Shelley party reached Switzerland, Claire realized that she was pregnant from this liaison. Although the relationship continued in Geneva, Byron soon tired of Claire and came to dislike her, so much so that in subsequent years he would see the Shelleys only on condition of her absence.