Gothic writers, as the name suggests, were a macabre bunch. These romantic authors of the 19th century combined raw emotionality with a (slightly horny) fascination for death and darkness. And of all the clove-smoking protogoths, it was Lord Byron who really had the mind to ponder the fragility of mortality – and drink wine from it.
Lord Byron, the sexy vampire of the Gothic writers, spent every moment of his short life being eccentric. He was a valued poet, club-footed boxer, incestuous Lothario, owner of a therapy bear, and an avid collector of pubic hair. The latter, however, wasn’t the only human remains he tried to collect. One day a gardener found an intact skull buried in the grounds of the disused abbey that the Byron called their ancestral home. As such, Byron assumed that it once belonged to “a jolly monk or monk,” and Lord Byron had treated it with all the solemnity and respect that an English gentleman could muster The skull turned it into a mug so he could drink red wine from his silver skull like a Cambridge-trained Conan the barbarian.
But when he sipped his skull, Byron was obsessed with his body Remember death. At home he was crowned abbot of the skull and founded the Order of the Skull, a kind of Gothic Friar’s Club, in which his black-clad members also drank from the skull of a real brother hosted comedy roast of the dead. Byron even wrote a poem about his precious skull bowl (an honor most of his lovers never received) about how to turn it into a poet’s drinking bowl for worm food.