Lucretia by Edward Bulwer Lytton

Автор: andrey4444. Опубликовано в Эдуард Бульвер-Литтон

Bulwer Lytton wrote about his novel:
"Lucretia; or, The Children of Night," was begun simultaneously with "The Caxtons: a Family Picture." The two fictions were intended as pendants; both serving, amongst other collateral aims and objects, to show the influence of home education, of early circumstance and example, upon after character and conduct. "Lucretia" was completed and published before "The Caxtons." The moral design of the first was misunderstood and assailed; that of the last was generally acknowledged and approved: the moral design in both was nevertheless precisely the same. But in one it was sought through the darker side of human nature; in the other through the more sunny and cheerful: one shows the evil, the other the salutary influences, of early circumstance and training. Necessarily, therefore, the first resorts to the tragic elements of awe and distress,—the second to the comic elements of humour and agreeable emotion. These differences serve to explain the different reception that awaited the two, and may teach us how little the real conception of an author is known, and how little it is cared for; we judge, not by the purpose he conceives, but according as the impressions he effects are pleasurable or painful. But while I cannot acquiesce in much of the hostile criticism this fiction produced at its first appearance, I readily allow that as a mere question of art the story might have been improved in itself, and rendered more acceptable to the reader, by diminishing the gloom of the catastrophe. In this edition I have endeavoured to do so; and the victim whose fate in the former cast of the work most revolted the reader, as a violation of the trite but amiable law of Poetical Justice, is saved from the hands of the Children of Night. Perhaps, whatever the faults of this work, it equals most of its companions in the sustainment of interest, and in that coincidence between the gradual development of motive or passion, and the sequences of external events constituting plot, which mainly distinguish the physical awe of tragedy from the coarse horrors of melodrama. I trust at least that I shall now find few readers who will not readily acknowledge that the delineation of crime has only been employed for the grave and impressive purpose which brings it within the due province of the poet,—as an element of terror and a warning to the heart.

Table of Contents:

PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1853.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

PART THE FIRST
    PROLOGUE TO PART THE FIRST
    Chapter I. A Family Group
    Chapter II. Lucretia
    Chapter III. Conferences
    Chapter IV. Guy's Oak
    Chapter V. Household Treason
    Chapter VI. The Will
    Chapter VII. The Engagement
    Chapter VIII. The Discovery
    Chapter IX. A Soul without Hope
    Chapter X. The Reconciliation between Father and Son
    EPILOGUE TO PART THE FIRST

PART THE SECOND
    PROLOGUE TO PART THE SECOND
    Chapter I. The Coronation
    Chapter II. Love at First Sight
    Chapter III. Early Training for an Upright Gentleman
    Chapter IV. John Ardworth
    Chapter V. The Weavers and the Woof
    Chapter VI. The Lawyer and the Body-snatcher
    Chapter VII. The Rape of the Mattress
    Chapter VIII. Percival visits Lucretia
    Chapter IX. The Rose beneath the Upas
    Chapter X. The Rattle of the Snake
    Chapter XI. Love and Innocence
    Chapter XII. Sudden Celebrity and Patient Hope
    Chapter XIII. The Loss of the Crossing
    Chapter XIV. News from Grabman
    Chapter XV. Varieties
    Chapter XVI. The Invitation to Laughton
    Chapter XVII. The Waking of the Serpent
    Chapter XVIII. Retrospect
    Chapter XIX. Mr. Grabman's Adventures
    Chapter XX. More of Mrs. Joplin
    Chapter XXI. Beck's Discovery
    Chapter XXII. The Tapestry Chamber
    Chapter XXIII. The Shades on the Dial
    Chapter XXIV. Murder, towards his Design, moves like a Ghost
    Chapter XXV. The Messenger speeds
    Chapter XXVI. The Spy flies
    Chapter XXVII. Lucretia regains her Son
    Chapter XXVIII. The Lots vanish within the Urn
    EPILOGUE TO PART THE SECOND

 

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