One of the most important developments in the recent history of The Byron Journal is the digitisation by Liverpool University Press of our complete back catalogue from the journal’s inception in 1973 up to the present day. It is fascinating to dip into some of the past contents, particularly of the early issues, and to trace the contours of contemporary Byron scholarship. What becomes apparent is that the journal has always reflected the major concerns in Byron Studies but that it has shaped those concerns too. Indeed, while it often tells us something about past critical trends it rarely fails to speak to the present. In 1973, the journal provided a platform for Jerome McGann and Leslie Marchand to reflect on the challenges of editing Byron’s poetry and correspondence (it is hard now to imagine a time without the two splendid resources that were the fruits of these endeavours), but it is interesting to note the subjects of the other essays and book reviews – Byron’s politics, Italy, Hellenism and Shelley – which read like a record of the very topics that have dominated recent discussion at International conferences.
I hope that the present issue of the journal continues to be a barometer of all things Byronic. Within these pages you will find original essays on the subject of Byron’s love letters, Byron’s homes, original sin in the dramas of 1821, the textual and reception history of ‘Epitaph to a Dog’ (the front cover shows a photograph of Boatswain’s monument) and a discussion of Byron’s resonance in popular culture from a French perspective, plus Alex Alec-Smith’s reflections on what the current auctions of Byroniana tell us, a selection of Book Reviews and reports from several of the National Byron Societies. They testify to the vibrancy of work on Byron in 2015. [End Page v]