Byron wrote prolifically. In 1832 his publisher, John Murray, released the complete works in 14 duodecimo volumes, including a life by Thomas Moore. Subsequent editions were released in 17 volumes, first published a year later, in 1833.
Byron's magnum opus, Don Juan, a poem spanning 17 cantos, ranks as one of the most important long poems published in England since John Milton's Paradise Lost. The poem, often called the epic of its time, has roots deep in literary tradition and, although regarded by early Victorians as somewhat shocking, equally involves itself with its own contemporary world at all levels – social, political, literary and ideological. In addition to its biting satire, the poem (especially in the early cantos) is funny.
Byron published the first two cantos anonymously in 1819 after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry. By this time, he had been a famous poet for seven years, and when he self-published the beginning cantos, they were well received in some quarters. It was then released volume by volume through his regular publishing house. By 1822, cautious acceptance by the public had turned to outrage, and Byron's publisher refused to continue to publish the works. In Canto III of Don Juan, Byron expresses his detestation for poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In letters to Francis Hodgson, Byron referred to Wordsworth as "Turdsworth".