Edward Bulwer Lytton

The Project Gutenberg EBook Devereux, by Bulwer-Lytton, Complete
#58 in our series by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
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Title: Devereux, Complete
Author: Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Release Date: March 2005 [EBook #7630] [Yes, we are more than one
year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on February 25,
Edition: 10
Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


This eBook was produced by Dagny, [email protected] and David
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IN this edition of a work composed in early youth, I have not attempted
to remove those faults of construction which may be sufficiently
apparent in the plot, but which could not indeed be thoroughly rectified
without re-writing the whole work. I can only hope that with the
defects of inexperience may be found some of the merits of frank and
artless enthusiasm. I have, however, lightened the narrative of certain
episodical and irrelevant passages, and relieved the general style of
some boyish extravagances of diction. At the time this work was
written I was deeply engaged in the study of metaphysics and ethics,
and out of that study grew the character of Algernon Mordaunt. He is
represented as a type of the Heroism of Christian Philosophy,--a union
of love and knowledge placed in the midst of sorrow, and labouring on
through the pilgrimage of life, strong in the fortitude that comes from
belief in Heaven.
KNEBWORTH, May 3, 1852.
E. B. L.


MY DEAR AULDJO,--Permit me, as a memento of the pleasant hours
we passed together, and the intimacy we formed by the winding shores
and the rosy seas of the old Parthenope, to dedicate to you this romance.
It was written in perhaps the happiest period of my literary life,--when
success began to brighten upon my labours, and it seemed to me a fine
thing to make a name. Reputation, like all possessions, fairer in the
hope than the reality, shone before me in the gloss of novelty; and I had
neither felt the envy it excites, the weariness it occasions, nor (worse
than all) that coarse and painful notoriety, that, something between the
gossip and the slander, which attends every man whose writings
become known,--surrendering the grateful privacies of life to
"The gaudy, babbling, and remorseless day."
In short, yet almost a boy (for, in years at least, I was little more, when
"Pelham" and "The Disowned" were conceived and composed), and
full of the sanguine arrogance of hope, I pictured to myself far greater
triumphs than it will ever be mine to achieve: and never did architect of
dreams build his pyramid upon (alas!) a narrower base, or a more
crumbling soil! . . . Time cures us effectually of these self-conceits, and
brings us, somewhat harshly, from the gay extravagance of
confounding the much that we design with the little that we can
"The Disowned" and "Devereux" were both completed in retirement,
and in the midst of metaphysical studies and investigations, varied and
miscellaneous enough, if not very deeply conned. At that time I was
indeed engaged in preparing for the press a Philosophical Work which I
had afterwards the good sense to postpone to a riper age and a more
sobered mind. But the effect of these studies is somewhat prejudicially
visible in both the romances I have referred to; and the external and
dramatic colourings which belong to fiction are too often forsaken for
the inward and subtile analysis of motives, characters, and actions. The
workman was not sufficiently master of his art to forbear the vanity of
parading the wheels of the mechanism, and was too fond of calling
attention to the minute and tedious operations by which the movements
were to be performed and the result obtained. I believe that an author is
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