Necessary To My Happiness

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20150810

The poet Michael Symmons Roberts tells the story of Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter Allegra, who was only five when she died in an Italian convent. Michael goes to Ravenna to find out how Byron came to abandon her, and how she came to haunt his imagination (and that of fellow Romantic Percy Bysshe Shelley).

Through visiting the Palazzo Guiccioli in Ravenna, where Byron lived for a time, and the convent at Bagnacavallo where Allegra died, Michael discovers evidence for her as a spirited little girl, who wrote heartbreaking letters to her father, pleading with him to visit her.

In this documentary, Allegra gets her own voice at last...

Music composed by Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones.