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Paul Clifford

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  12 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
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Paperback, 436 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Wildside Press (first published 1830)
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Great First Lines
61st out of 93 books — 93 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 46 books — 26 voters


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Community Reviews

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CheshRCat
Oct 12, 2011 CheshRCat rated it really liked it
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
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Alex
Oct 31, 2015 Alex rated it did not like it
That First Sentence

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
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Grace Harwood
Jan 17, 2014 Grace Harwood rated it really liked it
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 ("...it was especially observable that not one of the ladies who had been despoiled by the robber could be prevailed on to prosecute ...more
Tristram
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
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David
Nov 04, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire, novel, humor, adult
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
Kathryn
May 25, 2016 Kathryn marked it as to-read
The original: "It was a dark and stormy night" :-)
J.L. Dobias
Jul 28, 2014 J.L. Dobias rated it it was amazing  ·  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.

Bulwe
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Elise
Jul 31, 2011 Elise marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
Have to read the dark-and-stormy-night book.
Karen
Sep 06, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
"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
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Tori
Jun 29, 2012 Tori rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, classics
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
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Ken
Nov 29, 2008 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
David
Sep 16, 2014 David marked it as may-read
It was a dark and stormy night;...
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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
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“It was a dark and stormy night...” 10 likes
“Can any man doubt whether it is better to be a great statesman or a common thief?” 0 likes
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