Edward Lytton Bulwer
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English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician.
Bulwer’s prolific literary output sprang from necessity. In 1827 he met and married a famous Irish beauty, Rosina Doyle, to the displeasure of his mother, who cut off his allowance. The two enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle, spending £3000 a year, and Rosina’s annual income was only £80. Between 1827 and 1835 he wrote thirteen novels, two long poems, four plays, a social history of England from the turn of the century and a three-volume history of Athens. He also edited the New Monthly Magazine (1831-2), and published numerous essays anonymously in the Edinburgh Review, the Westminster Review, the Monthly Chronicle, the Examiner, and the Literary Gazette.
Bulwer’s stream of best-selling novels (there were 27 in total), including The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) earned him a considerable fortune. He coined the phrases "the pen is mightier than the sword", "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", as well as the infamous opening line "It was a dark and stormy night" (from his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford.)
In addition to his writing and travelling, Bulwer had a successful political career, serving twice in Parliament - first as a Whig Radical for eleven years from 1831 and then, after an eleven year hiatus, as a Conservative MP from 1852 to 1866, when he entered the House of Lords.
He had a brief affair with Byron’s ex-mistress, Lady Caroline
(Edward’s mother was Elizabeth Lytton, and he was known as Edward Lytton Bulwer. When his mother died he changed his name to Edward Bulwer-Lytton in accordance with her will. When he was raised to the peerage he became the Earl of Lytton.)
This is a fine Free Front (1855) made out in his hand and signed (as required) in ink to the lower left corner of the envelope panel. In good condition.