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  • 1870s: Lord Lytton’s Works – 16 Volumes

    Bulwer-Lytton’s works are characterized by their richly detailed narratives, exploring themes of love, power, ambition, and societal norms. He was adept at blending elements of the Gothic, historical fiction, and science fiction, which allowed him to reach a broad audience and influence the development of these genres. Notably, he is credited with popularizing the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” in his play “Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy” (1839).

    Among his most celebrated novels are:

    • “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1834): Set in the final days of Pompeii before the city is destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this novel combines historical detail with a compelling narrative of love, betrayal, and fate.
    • “Eugene Aram” (1832): A novel based on the true story of an 18th-century English scholar convicted of murder, exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the pursuit of knowledge.
    • “Paul Clifford” (1830): Famous for its opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” this novel delves into the life of its titular character, from his upbringing in the criminal underworld to his eventual reformation.
    • “The Last of the Barons” (1843): A historical novel set during the Wars of the Roses, focusing on the power struggle between King Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick.
    • “The Coming Race” (1871): An early science fiction novel that explores the concept of a subterranean world inhabited by an advanced society, known as the Vril-ya. This work has been influential in speculative fiction, exploring themes of utopia, technology, and superhuman powers.