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My Novel   By: (1803-1873)

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In "My Novel" by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, readers are transported to the fictional world of the quaint English countryside. Set during the mid-19th century, this gripping tale explores the complexities of love, family, and societal norms with a touch of gothic mystery.

The story unfolds through a dual narrative, presenting parallel storylines that eventually intertwine. We first meet Ernest Maltravers, a gifted yet tormented writer seeking solace in solitude. Diving deep into his character's psyche, Bulwer-Lytton crafts an introspective portrayal of a man haunted by his past and grappling with profound existential questions.

Meanwhile, readers also follow the life of Clara Leslie, a virtuous and compassionate young woman who becomes entangled in an unexpected inheritance. Clara's journey unravels the intricacies of societal expectations, as she navigates the complexities of love and familial duty.

Bulwer-Lytton's prose is richly descriptive, painting vivid portraits of the stunning landscapes and opulent settings. From the lavish ballrooms to the isolated country estates, the author pays meticulous attention to detail, instilling an immersive quality to the narrative. Through his writing, he evokes an atmospheric ambiance that seamlessly transports readers to a bygone era.

One of the novel's most striking aspects is the exploration of themes such as forbidden love and the constraints imposed by society. Bulwer-Lytton skillfully examines the stifling norms and expectations that hem in his characters, highlighting the stark contrast between personal desires and societal obligations. This struggle adds layers of complexity to the characters, making them relatable and authentically human.

Additionally, the plot unfolds at a steady pace, steadily building tension and suspense as secrets and dark family histories are revealed. The incorporation of gothic elements further heightens the sense of intrigue, enticing readers to unravel the mysteries hidden within the story.

Despite its exploration of weighty themes, "My Novel" is not without flaws. The sheer complexity of the narrative may deter some readers seeking a more straightforward plot. Furthermore, at times, the excessive use of flowery language can detract from the overall readability of the novel, requiring readers to pay close attention to fully grasp the nuances of the prose.

Overall, "My Novel" by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is a captivating piece of literature that delves deep into the intricacies of human emotions within a 19th-century English setting. It invites readers to ponder the meaning of personal autonomy, love's power, and the constraints of societal expectations. Despite its occasional flaws, this novel is sure to appeal to lovers of gothic literature and those seeking an engaging blend of romance, mystery, and reflection on the human condition.

First Page:


By Edward Bulwer Lytton




Scene, the hall in UNCLE ROLAND'S tower; time, night; season, winter.

MR. CAXTON is seated before a great geographical globe, which he is turning round leisurely, and "for his own recreation," as, according to Sir Thomas Browne, a philosopher should turn round the orb of which that globe professes to be the representation and effigies. My mother having just adorned a very small frock with a very smart braid, is holding it out at arm's length, the more to admire the effect. Blanche, though leaning both hands on my mother's shoulder, is not regarding the frock, but glances towards PISISTRATUS, who, seated near the fire, leaning back in the chair, and his head bent over his breast, seems in a very bad humour. Uncle Roland, who has become a great novel reader, is deep in the mysteries of some fascinating Third Volume. Mr. Squills has brought the "Times" in his pocket for his own special profit and delectation, and is now bending his brows over "the state of the money market," in great doubt whether railway shares can possibly fall lower, for Mr. Squills, happy man! has large savings, and does not know what to do with his money, or, to use his own phrase, "how to buy in at the cheapest in order to sell out at the dearest... Continue reading book >>

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