When his former colleague Peter Sullivan dies, the narrator of Childish Loves inherits his life's work - a number of fragmentary manuscripts about the life of Lord Byron. Fascinated by his prose -- and intrigued by the rather sinister rumours surrounding Peter's life, including whispers of an inappropriate liaision with a young boy -- he has the manuscripts published and then sets out to discover whether the reimagining of Byron's lost memoires can provide a key to Sullivan's own elusive life and tarnished reputation.Acting as a literary sleuth, he sorts through boxes of Sullivan's writing; reads between the lines of his scandalous, Byron-inspired stories; meets with the Society for the Publication of the Dead; and tracks down people from Peter's past in an effort to untangle rumour from reality. In the process, he crafts a masterful story-within-a-story that turns on uncomfortable questions about childhood and sexual awakening, innocence and attraction, while exploring the lives of three very different writers and their brushes with success and failure in both literature and life.

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