Edward Bulwer-Lytton Detailed Biography

Edward Bulwer-Lytton was a revered English poet, novelist, politician and playwright. He was very popular with the part of the populace who loved to read. He had a written a stream of bestselling novels and had earned a considerable fortune.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton Detailed Biography
Edward Bulwer Lytton

He had coined many phrases like ‘the great unwashed’, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’, ‘pursuit of the almighty dollar’, ‘dweller on the threshold’ and one of the most famous opening lines ‘It was a dark and stormy night’.

Life of Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edward was born on May 25, 1803, in London. His father was General William Earle Bulwer of Heydon Hall and Wood Darling, Norfolk. His mother was Elizabeth Barbara Lytton. He also had two elder brothers William Earle Lytton Bulwer and Henry. His father died when he was only four and the family moved to London.

Edward was a very delicate and neurotic child. He was discontented with the boarding schools. But he had marked precociousness and through the encouragement of Mr. Wallington at Baling, he published the first immature work, Ishmael, and Other Poems at an age of fifteen.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton Biography

He entered Trinity College in 1822 and this is where he met John Auldjo. Edward moved to Trinity Hall shortly afterward. He had won the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for English verse in 1825. He accepted his B.A. degree the following year and also printed a small volume of poems, Weeds and Wild Flowers for private circulation.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton Detailed Biography

He also purchased a commission in the army, but did not serve it and sold it. He married the Irish beauty Rosina Doyle Wheeler against his mother’s wishes. Subsequently, his mother withdrew his allowance, forcing him to work for a living.

They had two children – Emily Elizabeth Bulwer-Lytton and Robert Bulwer-Lytton, the 1st Earl of Lytton and the subsequent Governor General and Viceroy of British India.

Edward’s Life Facts

The incessant writing and political work took their stroll on the marriage and his infidelity embittered Rosina. The couple separated in 1833 and it became legal in 1836. Rosina had published Cheveley, or the Man of Honour in 1839, which had bitterly stirred her husband’s alleged hypocrisy.

Following his mother’s death in 1844, he changed his surname from Bulwer to Bulwer-Lytton according to her will and assumed the arms of Lytton by royal license. This had been done by his widowed mother in 1811, though his brothers remained Bulwer.

He was even offered the crown of Greece when King Otto abdicated in 1862. But he proudly declined the offer. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Lytton in 1866.

Later Years of Edward Bulwer-Lytton

In 1867, the English Rosicrucian society was founded by Robert Wentworth Little, which claimed Bulwer-Lytton as the Grand Patron. He had, however, written to the society complaining about the use of the title, claiming that he had never sanctioned such actions.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton Book

A number of esoteric groups still continued to proclaim Bulwer-Lytton as their own. This was chiefly due to his writings that included Rosicrucian and similar esoteric notions, the likes of which can be found in the book Zanoni.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edward had suffered from a disease of the ear from a long time. He had spent the last two or three years of his life nursing his condition in Torquay. An abscess was formed in the ear and burst following an operation to cure his deafness.

He died on January 18, 1873, after enduring intense pain for a week. Though the cause of death was not clear, the infection could have been the reason, which might have affected the brain.

The Career of Edward Bulwer-Lytton

During his early days, he started out following Jeremy Bentham. He had been elected as a member of St Ives in Cornwall in 1831. He was returned for Lincoln in 1832 and sat in the Parliament for nine years. He is known to have spoken in favor of the Reform Bill and had also taken the lead role in securing the reduction of the newspaper duties.

Lord Lytton

He left Parliament in 1841 and did not return to politics until 1852. Lord Lytton stood for Hertfordshire as a Conservative and held the seat until 1866 when he was raised to the peerage. He then became Baron Lytton of Knebworth.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edward entered as the Secretary of State for the Colonies in Lord Derby’s government in 1858. Though he was quite inactive in the House of Lords, he took interests in the development of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. He had written to the Royal Engineers with great passion assigning them duties.

More Info On- Alfred Jacob MillerWilliam HugginsAlfred William Hunt

Found info useful?