The Gowk is a short story in Scottish Doric inspired by Byron’s Aberdeen upbringing.
George Gordon, Lord Byron was born In London to his Scottish mother who had been abandoned by the child’s father. Without any means of support in this foreign city, Catherine (Katherine) Gordon returned home to her native northeast Scotland where her family retained an estate at Gight. She and her child then settled in Aberdeen where George Gordon grew up, ocassionally spending time with his mother’s family both near Banff and near Ballater where he first came to know the mountains of Lochnagar and Morven.
George Gordon’s father, Captain John Byron, a ne’er do well, visited Aberdeen to squeeze money out of his wife. Soon all her family’s wealth and lands were gone, squandered by this unscrupulous man.
The boy George Gordon was educated privately and at the Grammar School in Aberdeen, leaving when he inherited his father’s family title. He spent a few years in England finishing his education before going abroad.
He never lost his Aberdeen accent and he retained a fondness for the mountains which had so impressed him as a youth.
Lord Byron is often described as an English poet but this is not accurate, he was a British one – of mixed parontage, half Scottish and he was brought up as a Scot.