Chapter

Edward Bulwer and the ‘Terror of History’

Fiona J. Stafford

in The Last of the Race

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112228
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112228.003.0011
Edward Bulwer and the ‘Terror of History’

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This article focuses on Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer's works on the myth of the last of the race, including the (at least) four historical novels he wrote specifically about the myth between 1834 and 1848, as well as several of his works in which it was dealt with at a lesser but significant extent. Bulwer's historical novels all linger on the image of a falling race, such as the Romans, the Saxons, the Egyptians, and feudal Britain's barons. The demise of the old in Bulwer's works is not always treated as tragic, but its impact on the last members is not at all happy as they are doomed to vanish with their kind. Bulwer held onto his positive attitude towards the future and his defences against the ‘Terror of History’.

Keywords: Edward Bulwer; race; historical novels; falling races; Terror of History

Chapter.  14130 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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