My life might have been passed in ease and luxury, but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path.

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Historical | Title: Frankenstein (in Context) | Author: Mary Shelley | Ch: Letter 1

Perhaps the model for this is the towering figure of Lord Byron (Search, and introductory annotation), the most famous poet of his day. 

Byron inherited one of England's grandest estates, Newstead Abbey, and at this time was the most lionized literary figure in Europe. No less idealistic than Walton, Byron determined to liberate Greece from Turkish domination. He sold his estate in order to finance an army. There are still houses scattered through rural Greece in which hangs a portrait of Byron. He was a consummate poet and brilliantly funny letter-writer, whose name occupies far more than a niche in the temple. He died in Missolonghi, in Greece, from malaria. He'd earlier warned against the practice of excessive blood-letting but the warning went unheeded and he was bled extensively, which further weakened him. 

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