From his Presbyterian nurse Byron developed a lifelong love for the Bible and an abiding fascination with the Calvinist doctrines of innate evil and predestined salvation.
Early schooling instilled a devotion to reading and especially a "grand passion" for history that informed much of his later writing.
(After a quack doctor subjected him to painful, futile treatments for his foot, London specialists prescribed a corrective boot, later fitted with a brace, which the patient often refused to wear.) He also formed the first of those passionate attachments with other, chiefly younger, boys that he would enjoy throughout his life; before reaching his teen years he had been sexually initiated by his maid.
There can be little doubt that he had strong bisexual tendencies, though relationships with women seem generally, but not always, to have satisfied his emotional needs more fully.
In the summer of 1803 he fell so deeply in love with his distant cousin, the beautiful-and engaged-Mary Chaworth of Annesley Hall, that he interrupted his education for a term to be near her.
His unrequited passion found expression in such poems as "Hills of Annesley" (written 1805), "The Adieu" (written 1807), "Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England" (written 1809), and "The Dream" (written 1816).
The new poems in this first public volume of his poetry are little more than schoolboy translations from the classics and imitations of such pre-Romantics as Thomas Gray, Thomas Chatterton, Robert Burns, and James Macpherson’s Ossian, and of contemporaries including Walter Scott and Thomas Moore.
Missing were the original flashes of eroticism and satire that had enlivened poems in the private editions that were omitted from .An "ebullition of passion" for his cousin Margaret Parker in 1800 inspired his "first dash into poetry." When she died two years later, he composed "On the Death of a Young Lady"; throughout his life poetic expression would serve him as a catharsis of strong emotion.At Harrow (1801-1805), he excelled in oratory, wrote verse, and played sports, even cricket.He continued to refine these techniques in works from were not excused by a preface that, with pompous mock modesty, pleaded the poet’s youth and inexperience, while disclaiming any intention of his undertaking a poetic career.A second edition, on Byron’s instructions retitled , appeared in 1808; the contents had been altered slightly and the preface omitted.(His half sister had earlier been sent to her maternal grandmother.) Emotionally unstable, Catherine Byron raised her son in an atmosphere variously colored by her excessive tenderness, fierce temper, insensitivity, and pride.