“It was a dark and stormy night”
With those as famous as infamous words Edward George Bulwer-Lyttons (1803-1873) starts his novel “Paul Clifford” (1830). This phrase was often ironised and mocked by many like Peanuts’ Snoopy. Do you know how it goes on? Of course “the rain fell in torrents”.
But don’t you think that it’s raining in Heydon/Norfolk, where Bulwer-Lytton was born, all the time! Of course, such a ghastly weather adds perfectly to the atmosphere of Gothic novels, doesn’t it? Therefore these words became one of the most known and most parodised first words of all English novels.
Bulwer-Lytton was a bestselling writing maniac, who earned a fortune writing novels. Besides “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1834) and “Rienzi” (1835) his novels are more or less forgotten. The first is only know because of its filming and the other because of Richard Wagner’s opera.
Mit diesen berühmt berüchtigten…
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