Catherine Peters

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Bulwer Lytton: The Rise and Fall of a Victorian of Letters

By

Hambledon and London 292pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

IN THE OPENING pages of Conrad’s The Nizer of the ‘Narcissus’, the old seaman Singleton is ‘spelling through Pelham with slow labour, and lost in an absorption profound enough to resemble a trance . . . The popularity of Bulwer Lytton in the forecastles of southtrn-going ships is a wonderful and bizarre phenomenon. What ideas do his polished and so curiously insincere sentences awaken in the simple minds of the big children who entanpeople those dark and wandering places of the earth?’

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