Excerpt from The Works of Edward Bulwer Lytton (Lord Lytton), Vol. 1: The Last Days of the Pompeii; Harold: The Last of the Saxon Kings; The Caxtons: A Family Picture We trace in their struggles for liberty and for justice our present institutions; and in the elements of their social state we behold the origin of our own. But with the classical age we have no household and familiar associations. The creed of that departed religion, the customs of that past civilization, present little that is sacred or attractive to our northern imaginations; they are rendered yet more trite to us by the scholastic pedantries which first acquainted us with their nature, and are linked with the recollection of studies which were imposed as a labor, and not cultivated as a delight. Yet the enterprise, though arduous, seemed to me worth attempting; and in the time and the scene I have chosen, much may be found to arouse the curiosity of the reader, and enlist his interest in the descriptions of the author. It was the first century of our religion; it was the most civilized period of Rome; the conduct of the story lies amidst places whose relics we yet trace; the catastrophe is among the most awful which the tragedies of Ancient History present to our survey. From the ample materials before me, my endeavor has been to select those which would be most attractive to a modern reader; - the customs and superstitions least unfamiliar to him - the shadows that, when reanimated, would present to him such images as, while they represented the past, might be least uninteresting to the speculations of the present. It did, indeed, require a greater self-control than the reader may at first imagine, to reject much that was most inviting in itself; but which, while it might have added attraction to parts of the work, would have been injurious to the symmetry of the whole. Thus, for instance, the date of my story is that of the short reign of Titus, when Rome was at its proudest and most gigantic eminence of luxury and power. It was, therefore, a most inviting temptation to the Author, to conduct the characters of his tale, during the progress of its incidents, from Pompeii to Rome. What could afford such materials for description, or such field for the vanity of display, as that gorgeous city of the world, whose grandeur could lend so bright an inspiration to fancy - so favorable and so solemn a dignity to research? But, in choosing for my subject - my catastrophe, the Destruction of Pompeii, it required but little insight into the higher principles of art to perceive that to Pompeii the story should be rigidly confined. Placed in contrast with the mighty pomp of Rome, the luxuries and gaud of the vivid Campanian city would have sunk into insignificance. Her awful fate would have seemed but a petty and isolated wreck in the vast seas of the imperial sway; and the auxiliary I should have summoned to the interest of my story, would only have destroyed and overpowered the cause it was invoked to support. I was therefore compelled to relinquish an episodical excursion so alluring in itself, and, confining my story strictly to Pompeii, to leave to others the honor of delineating the hollow but majestic civilization of Rome. The city, whose fate supplied me with so superb and awful a catastrophe, supplied easily, from the first survey of its remains, the characters most suited to the subject and the scene: the half Grecian colony of Hercules, mingling with the manners of Italy so much of the costumes of Hellas, suggested of itself the characters of Glaucus and Ione. The worship of Isis, its existent fane, with its false oracles unveiled - the trade of Pompeii with Alexandria - the associations of the Sarnus with the Nile, - called forth the Egyptian Arbaces, the base Calenus, and the fervent Apaecides. The early struggles of Christianity with the heathen superstition suggested the creation of Olinthus; and the burnt fields ."
Edward Bulwer-Lytton was an immensely popular Victorian novelist, whose bestselling novels earned him a considerable fortune. This comprehensive eBook presents the complete fictional works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, with numerous illustrations, rare texts appearing in digital print for the first time, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1) * Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Bulwer-Lytton’s life and works * Concise introductions to the novels and other texts * ALL 29 novels, with individual contents tables * The rare unfinished novel LIONEL HASTINGS is available in no other digital collection * Images of how the books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the Victorian texts * Excellent formatting of the texts * Special chronological and alphabetical contents tables for the poetry and the short stories * Easily locate the poems or short stories you want to read * Includes Bulwer-Lytton’s complete short stories, with all the obscure tales published in magazines – appearing here for the first time in digital print * Features Thompson Cooper’s important biography on the author, first time in digital print - discover Bulwer-Lytton’s literary life * A selection of non-fiction works * Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles CONTENTS: The Novels FALKLAND PELHAM THE DISOWNED DEVEREUX PAUL CLIFFORD EUGENE ARAM GODOLPHIN THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII THE PILGRIMS OF THE RHINE RIENZI, THE LAST OF THE ROMAN TRIBUNES ERNEST MALTRAVERS ALICE LEILA CALDERON, THE COURTIER ZICCI NIGHT AND MORNING ZANONI THE LAST OF THE BARONS LUCRETIA HAROLD, THE LAST OF THE SAXONS THE CAXTONS MY NOVEL WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? A STRANGE STORY THE COMING RACE KENELM CHILLINGLY THE PARISIENS PAUSANIAS LIONEL HASTINGS The Shorter Fiction CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE KNIGHT’S QUARTERLY MAGAZINE THE STUDENT TALES FROM MISCELLANEOUS PERIODICALS The Short Stories LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER The Play THE LADY OF LYONS The Poetry LIST OF POEMS LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER The Non-Fiction ATHENS: ITS RISE AND FALL THE FALLEN STAR A DISSERTATION ON THE ORIGIN OF EVIL TOMLINSONIANA The Biography LORD LYTTON: A BIOGRAPHY by Thompson Cooper Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles