Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Bulwer-Lytton, Edward George Earle Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, 1803–73, English novelist. The son of Gen. William Bulwer and Elizabeth Lytton, he assumed the name Bulwer-Lytton in 1843 when he inherited the Lytton estate "Knebworth." He was created Baron Lytton of Knebworth in 1866. His varied and highly derivative novels won wide popularity. Many of his early novels of manners—Falkland (1827), Paul Clifford (1830), and Eugene Aram (1832)—reflect the influence of his friend William Godwin. Bulwer-Lytton, however, is best remembered for his extremely well-researched historical novels, particularly The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) and Rienzi (1835). In 1849, with The Caxtons, he began a series of humorous domestic novels, which had recently become the vogue. His utopian novel, The Coming Race, prefigured the works of Wells and Huxley. A member of Parliament from 1831 to 1841, Bulwer-Lytton was a reformer, but in 1852 he returned to Parliament as a Conservative. In 1858 he was appointed colonial secretary. He was also a successful dramatist. His plays include The Lady of Lyons (1838), Richelieu (1839), and Money (1840).

See biography by L. Mitchell (2003); study by S. B. Liljegren (1957); C. Shattuck, ed., Bulwer and Macready (1958).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Subverting Vision of Bulwer Lytton: Bicentenary Reflections
Allan Conrad Christensen.
University of Delaware Press, 2004
FREE! The Last Days of Pompeii
Edward Bulwer Lytton.
Porter & Coates, 1834
FREE! Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes
Edward Bulwer Lytton; L. W. Zeigler.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903
Athens: With Views of the Literature, Philosophy, and Social Life of the Athenian People
Oswyn Murray; Edward Bulwer Lytton.
Routledge, 2004
Fame, Notoriety and Madness: Edward Bulwer-Lytton Paying the Price of Greatness
Mulvey-Roberts, Marie.
Critical Survey, Vol. 13, No. 2, May 2001
No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction
Eric S. Rabkin; Martin H. Greenberg; Joseph D. Olander.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Coming Race: Hell? or Paradise Foretasted?"
Love's Madness: Medicine, the Novel, and Female Insanity, 1800-1865
Helen Small.
Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Hyena's Laughter: Lucretia and Jane Eyre"
The Genealogy of the Literary Bildungsroman: Edward Bulwerlytton and W. M. Thackeray
Salmon, Richard.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2004
Bulwer, Bloch, Bussotti and the Filial Muse: Recalled and Foreseen Sources of Inspiration
Christensen, Allan C.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer 1993
`Administrative Nihilism': Evolution, Ethics and Victorian Utopian Satire *
Graff, Ann-Barbara.
Utopian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 2001
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