Missolonghi is the place in Greece
where on 19 April 1824 Lord Byron
, acclaimed as hero
, died of fever.
He had arrived on 4 January, with his wealth being one of the main supporters of the cause of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. The rebel Greek fleet was at Missolonghi. At 11 p.m. that day he was hailed by a 21-gun salute. He found huge organizational problems awaiting him. From 21 January the port was blockaded by the Turks, until 5 April.
He first fell ill on 15 February, similar to an epileptic seizure. He recovered; but was unwell intermittently thereafter: and on 9 April he is caught in the rain while on horseback. Ill from this, he fell into a coma at 6 p.m. on 18 April, and died twenty-four hours later.
While he was at Missolonghi he heard news of the success of his great poem Don Juan, and then heard from his beloved sister Augusta Leigh with a portrait of his daughter Ada Lovelace.
There is a painting by Eugène Delacroix entitled Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi, dating from 1826 and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux. Greece is depicted as a young woman with her arms spread out, not quite in despair, but in sadness and incomprehension, and yet determined not to lose the struggle, over crushed marble slabs, while in the background a dark Turk lurks. A good reproduction is at
The Missolonghi Wetlands are now an important protected ecological site.
Colleen McCullough wrote a novel The Ladies of Missalonghi, published 1987, with a variant spelling of the place name. I haven't read it but it seems to relate to a town elsewhere named after (almost) the famous place in Greece.