Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paul Clifford” as Want to Read:
Paul Clifford
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paul Clifford

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Paul Clifford tells the life of Paul Clifford, a man who leads a dual life as both a criminal and an upscale gentleman.

Paul Clifford was written by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), an English politician, poet, playwright, and successful novelist. In a career spanning more than forty years he wrote a stream of novels which were read widely in the English-speaking w
Paperback, 436 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Wildside Press (first published 1830)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paul Clifford, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paul Clifford

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Great First Lines
32nd out of 82 books — 76 voters
Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeBleak House by Charles DickensVanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Nineteenth Century British: Victorian List
37th out of 77 books — 24 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 316)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Seriously--who wrote the summary up there, and when was it written? It makes this book sound like some deep, profound, existential, bore-the-pants-off-all-and-sundry analysis of Victorian society and crime. Um, no. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Or at the top of your web browser.

Paul Clifford is a melodramatic and fast-moving romp about a young fellow (named, ahem, Paul Clifford) who leads a double life: man-about-town by day, masked highwayman called Captain Lovett by night. He
Edward Bulwer-Lytton was a novelist from the 1800s, sortof Dickensish. His best-known novel, 1840's Paul Clifford, is about a heroic highwayman. Its fame comes from its opening: "It was a dark and stormy night," immortalized by Snoopy, who began all his books the same way.

The actual first sentence goes on for quite some time, so floridly that it's inspired a modern-day contest - the Edward Bulwer-Lytton contest - in which thousands of nerds compete annually to write the first sentence to "the wo
Never Judge a Book by Its First Sentence

Although I thoroughly enjoy reading English literature of the 18th and 19th centuries – I am afraid I may even go so far as to say that one condition an author must fulfil in order to find real favour with me is simply … being dead –, I have never had a look at the works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This is hardly surprising because I have always considered him to be a paragon of purple prose – and why? Simply because of the infamous sentence – “It was a dark
Grace Harwood
This was a bit of a find in a charity shop - I'm a huge fan of Victorian sensationalist novels (the so-called "Penny Dreadfuls" of the time) and I LOVED this. From the opening cliched line "It was a dark and stormy night...", I was utterly absorbed in the fate of Paul Lobkins/Clifford alias Captain Lovett, the dashing highwayman that all women want to be stopped by (" was especially observable that not one of the ladies who had been despoiled by the robber could be prevailed on to prosecute ...more
Paul Clifford has been the butt of criticism, and unfairly so. My own mother would mockingly quote the first phrase of this novel, though I am fairly certain she never read it. What I have gleaned from reading it is an admiration for a prose that begs to be read aloud, for the phrases flow with such amazing smoothness, they may have been polished by the Book of Common Prayer. Here we find the highwayman, Ned Pepper (a character whose name would not appear for 138 years until Charles Portis resur ...more
J.L. Dobias
Jul 28, 2014 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who writes and reads fiction
Shelves: book-shelf-09
Paul Clifford by Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This is a marvelous and greatly maligned piece of fiction that begins with this ever over-popularized piece of purple prose.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Jul 31, 2011 Elise marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
Have to read the dark-and-stormy-night book.
"It was a dark and stormy night..." may be the best line in the book. Paul Clifford, our hero is honestly not that likeable, the plot weak, and I often felt like I was reading a thesaurus...cover to cover.
"...She stood with a bottle of medicine in her hand, shaking its contents up and down, and with a kindly yet timid compassion spread over a countenance crimsoned with habitual libations. This made the scene; (I guess not, because this is followed by a bit more scene setting, haha ) save that o
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness

*sighs* <3 That has to be one of the best lines I have ever read. So beautiful, so poetic, holding passion and mystery and darkness. I LOVE that line.

Unfortunately, this i
This book begins with the immortal words 'It was a dark and stormy night'
The story is a fascinating portrait of redemption, with many quaint and amusing asides.
Sep 16, 2014 David marked it as may-read
It was a dark and stormy night;...
SomethingWicked marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Jackie marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Tamisha marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2015
Jarrett marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2015
Aurora Chang
Aurora Chang marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
Cory marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2015
Jennifer Carranaza
Jennifer Carranaza marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Hazlit added it
May 26, 2015
Ryan marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Linda Foster
Linda Foster marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Deedee marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Gwyn Rasmussen
Gwyn Rasmussen is currently reading it
May 09, 2015
Pam marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Anne marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
Chris marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Clayhanger
  • A Sicilian Romance
  • The Eclogues, Georgics and Aeneid of Virgil
  • The Phantom Ship
  • West of the Pecos
  • Magic: A Fantastic Comedy In a Prelude and Three Acts
  • Cousin Henry
  • The Water of the Wondrous Isles
  • Vendetta or the Story of One Forgotten
  • Pasquale's Angel
  • We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song
  • The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë
  • The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'
  • A Rogue's Life
  • Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas
  • The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People
  • Novels & Stories 1963-73: Cat's Cradle/God Bless You, Mr Rosewater/Slaughterhouse-Five/Breakfast of Champions/Stories
  • The Creeps (Samuel Johnson, #3)
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton PC, was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and the infamous incipit "It was a dark and stormy night."

He was the youngest son of General William Ear
More about Edward Bulwer-Lytton...
The Last Days of Pompeii The Coming Race Zanoni: A Rosicrucian Tale The Haunted and the Haunters Harold: The Last of the Saxon Kings

Share This Book

“It was a dark and stormy night...” 8 likes
“Can any man doubt whether it is better to be a great statesman or a common thief?” 0 likes
More quotes…