And it is singularly appropriate that Stendhal, whose first objective in his letter to Sharpe was to find out whether the latter's verdict on Armance would be favorable, should have recruited Byron's name, along with a striking instance of his "malheur passionne et deraisonnable," as a tacit validation of the novel and of its Byronically unhappy hero.
Knight was very close to his mother; his memorial in Warsop Church hardly reads Byronically: 'The dutiful son of a widow'd mother; a Poet as witnessed by her "Portrait"; over sacred and classical ground a Traveller, a man of kindness, and Benefactor to his Church and kinsmen.' Knight's devoted verse tribute to his mother, 'The Portrait', was published in the year of her death in A Collection of Poems, ed.
Botticelli's handsome, even arrogant, appearance on the extreme right in The Adoration of the Magi (1475) anticipated by several centuries the imposing self-portraits of two formally dressed arch-rivals, the Byronically dashing Delacroix (1839) and the defiantly severe Ingres (1858).
These essays, like much of the best travel writing--and unlike the handful in the collection that are either Byronically self-romanticizing, unfocused, or spiritually pumped up--remind us of the world's vastness, of what we can't possibly know except firsthand.