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Ernest Maltravers   By: (1803-1873)

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Ernest Maltravers by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is a thought-provoking and beautifully crafted novel that takes readers on a journey through the complexities of human nature. Set in the early 19th century, this book explores themes of love, ambition, society, and the enduring struggle between good and evil.

The story revolves around the eponymous character, Ernest Maltravers, a talented and ambitious young man with a burning desire to make his mark on the world. As the plot unfolds, we witness Ernest's transformation from a reckless and impulsive youth to a mature and virtuous individual. His encounters with various characters, such as the enigmatic Madame de Ventadour and the mysterious Lumley Ferrers, serve as catalysts for his growth and self-discovery.

Bulwer-Lytton's prose is nothing short of extraordinary. His vivid descriptions bring the settings to life, whether it's the bustling streets of London or the serene beauty of the English countryside. The author's attention to detail and his ability to evoke emotions make the reading experience truly immersive.

What sets Ernest Maltravers apart from other novels of its time is its exploration of complex moral dilemmas. Bulwer-Lytton delves deep into the human psyche, delving into themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of self-reflection. The characters are intricately portrayed, with their flaws and virtues laid bare. Each one is a reflection of the author's keen understanding of the human condition, making them relatable and compelling.

Another remarkable aspect of this book is Bulwer-Lytton's keen social commentary. He tackles issues such as class divide, societal expectations, and the pursuit of pleasure, offering profound insights that resonate even in contemporary times. Through his characters' interactions and dialogues, the author sheds light on the prevailing attitudes and customs of the era, providing readers with a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of the time.

However, it must be noted that Ernest Maltravers can be quite dense at times. The narrative occasionally meanders, and Bulwer-Lytton indulges in extensive philosophical musings that might not be to every reader's taste. Patience is required to fully appreciate the depth and complexity of the story.

In conclusion, Ernest Maltravers is a brilliantly constructed novel that explores timeless themes with depth and finesse. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's eloquence and insight make this book a compelling and intellectually stimulating read. Although it may not appeal to those seeking a light-hearted or fast-paced plot, for those who appreciate profound introspection and philosophical exploration, this book is a true gem.

First Page:


By Edward Bulwer Lytton

(Lord Lytton)


TO THE GREAT GERMAN PEOPLE, A race of thinkers and of critics; A foreign but familiar audience, Profound in judgment, candid in reproof, generous in appreciation, This work is dedicated By an English Author.


HOWEVER numerous the works of fiction with which, my dear Reader, I have trespassed on your attention, I leave published but three, of any account, in which the plot has been cast amidst the events, and coloured by the manner, of our own times. The first of these, Pelham , composed when I was little more than a boy, has the faults, and perhaps the merits, natural to a very early age, when the novelty itself of life quickens the observation, when we see distinctly, and represent vividly, what lies upon the surface of the world, and when, half sympathising with the follies we satirise, there is a gusto in our paintings which atones for their exaggeration. As we grow older we observe less, we reflect more; and, like Frankenstein, we dissect in order to create.

The second novel of the present day, which, after an interval of some years, I submitted to the world, was one I now, for the first time, acknowledge, and which (revised and corrected) will be included in this series, viz... Continue reading book >>

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