The Corsair

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First edition title page

The Corsair is a tale in verse by Lord Byron published in 1814 (see 1814 in poetry), which was extremely popular and influential in its day, selling ten thousand copies on its first day of sale.[1] Its poetry, divided into cantos (like Dante's Divine Comedy), narrates the story of the corsair Conrad, how he was in his youth rejected by society because of his actions and his later fight against humanity (excepting women). In this tale the figure of Byronic hero is presented by the point of view of the people.

The opera Il corsaro by Giuseppe Verdi, the overture Le Corsaire by Hector Berlioz, and the ballet Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam were based on this work.

Many Americans believed that Lord Byron's poem "The Corsair" was based on the life of the privateer/pirate Jean Lafitte; the work sold over 10,000 copies on its first day of publication.[2]


  1. ^ "Literary Daybook, Feb. 1 -". February 1, 2002. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ramsay (1996), pp. 138–9.