Dark and Stormy Was the Night: The Bulwer-Lytton Writing Contest

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton has had an impact on literature that belies his obscure and redundant name. As the Wikipedia tells it:

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton PC (25 May 1803 – 18 January 1873), was an English politician, poet, playwright, and prolific novelist. He was immensely popular with the reading public and wrote a stream of bestselling novels which earned him a considerable fortune. But, like many authors of the period, his style now seems florid and embellished . . . to modern tastes. He coined the phrases, “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword” . . .

. . . and he was also a cheat who put his wife in a mental hospital when she complained about his character, but let’s not dwell on that. Instead, let’s remember him for this famous opening line from his novel, Paul Clifford: Continue reading