The Byronic Hero was first published in 1962. This study of the origins and development of the Romantic hero through its apogee in the works of Byron critically examines the major Romantic heroes of comparative literature and places them in the wider perspective of history. Professor Thorslev devotes the first part of his discussion to the cultural origins and “family relationships” of a range of pre-Romantic and Romantic hero types, and to analyses of those aspects of the spirit of the times which each hero symbolizes. He shows that these forebears of the Byronic Hero -- the Child of Nature roaming the forests of Wales or the Highlands of Scotland, the Gloomy Egoist celebrating death and worms and charnel houses, the Man of Feeling expiring from a surfeit of emotion, the Gothic Villain-Hero exuding mystery, violence, and tenderness -- are largely English products of eighteenth-century sentiment and Gothicism. The more distinctly Romantic types -- the Hero of Sensibility feasting his soul and longing for its dissolution, the Noble Outlaw defying society, Faust the seeker, Cain the metaphysical rebel, the death-seeking Wandering Jew, Satan, and the fiery Prometheus -- are traced from their first appearance in the German Sturm und Drang to their composite reincarnation in the works of Byron. As the culmination of this last heroic tradition in Western literature, the Byronic Hero is significantly related to the later cult of hero-worship and to various philosophies of rebellion, from Nietzsche to Camus. An appendix contains a selective, annotated bibliography of secondary studies of each of the hero types discussed in the text. The book will be of particular interest to those studying or teaching English or comparative literature or the history of ideas.