George Gordon Byron, better known as Lord Byron, would be two hundred and thirty years old today. Perhaps "would" is the wrong word. After all, this is the man who inspired and served as the model for Polidori's The Vampyre and likely was a partial inspiration--along with Richard F. Burton--for the titular character in Dracula. Who's to say he doesn't live on, walking the nightside, somehow?
Byron was certainly--as has also been said of Lovecraft, Hitchcock and others--his own greatest creation. His life was one long, doomed saraband of excess, rebellion and bad decisions. He became the very model of the Tragic Artist for the modern era. As has been noted, he inspired Polidori and possibly Stoker. In more recent times, Byron starred as an important character in Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates and The Stress of Her Regard, the former being one of the best novels of the 1980s, in my opinion.
A bit closer to home, Robert E. Howard--who shares a birthdate with Byron--has himself been called "Byronic" and several of his characters and other creations have been labeled such as well. Kull and Justin Geoffrey could both be said to qualify in that regard. Also in the sword & sorcery realm, Wagner's Kane is just as Byronic as Bronte's Heathcliffe. The case could also be made for Elric, doomed emperor of Melinibone.
Here's a taste of Byron's famous poem, "Darkness":
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd,
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
This being the DMR blog, a metal connection is encouraged, if not required. Cradle of Filth was kind enough to oblige (and provide a cool blog entry title):