Edward Bulwer ( 1803-73) was born in London and educated at Cambridge. He entered Parliament as a Radical in 1831, and later as a Tory in 1852, becoming Secretary for the Colonies in 1858. Upon inheriting his family's Knebworth estate in 1843, he adopted his mother's surname, becoming Edward Bulwer Lytton. He was one of the most popular novelists of the day, and published with great success in a number of different genres: historical romances like The Last Days of Pompeii ( 1834), silver-fork novels of high society like Pelham ( 1828), works of science fiction like A Strange Story ( 1862) and The Coming Race ( 1871), Newgate novels like Paul Clifford ( 1830) and Eugene Aram ( 1832), and novels of middle-class domestic life, including The Caxtons ( 1849) and What Will He Do With It? ( 1858). He also wrote eleven volumes of poetry, hugely successful plays, and a pioneering sociological study, England and the English ( 1833). Bulwer was editor of the New Monthly Magazine from 1831 to 1833; later, some of his best fiction was serialized in Blackwood's. See James Campbell, Edward Bulwer-Lytton ( Boston, 1986).
William Carleton ( 1794-1869), a native of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, received little formal education and spent a good deal of his youth wandering the Irish countryside. At 17 he prepared for the Catholic priesthood, but converted to the Church of Ireland some time before 1830. His keen observation of rural life is evident in his two series of Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry ( 1830 and 1833), and in Tales of Ireland ( 1834). He wrote several novels, including Fardorougha the Miser ( 1839), Rody the Rover; or, the Ribbonman ( 1845), and The Evil Eye ( 1860), as well as more than seventy tales, poems, and essays for a dozen Irish periodicals, including The Christian Examiner, The Dublin Literary Gazette, and The Dublin University Magazine. See Eileen A. Sullivan, William Carleton ( Boston, 1983).
Allan Cunningham ( 1784-1842) was born in Keir, Dumfriesshire, and as a boy idolized Scott and walked in the funeral procession of Burns. He was apprenticed at 11 as a stonemason, and the trade supported him for the rest of his life. After 1810 he lived almost exclusively in London. He is best known for Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song ( 1810), the historical novel Paul Jones ( 1826), an edition of The Works of Robert Burns ( 1834), and a handful of