The Last Days of Pompeii
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, bart
Library Edition in 2 volumes: volume I
Novels of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Historical Romances: volume III
William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh & London, 1860.
Hardback; 120 x 170 mm; half leather marbled boards; titles in gold against red and black backgrounds on decorative spine with raised bands; xiv & 326 pages; top edge painted, other edges marbled; marbled endpapers. No dust jacket.
The book is in fair condition. The binding is sound. Fading and wear of the spine, particularly the joints. Wear to the edges of the boards and some scuffing. A bookplate pasted on the front paste-down endpaper: “Dixon Brown”.
The Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by the baron Edward Bulwer Lytton in 1834. The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of 1st century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have been subordinated by Rome, and his nemesis Arbaces the still older culture of Egypt. Olinthus is the chief representative of the nascent Christian religion, which is presented favourably but not uncritically. The Witch of Vesuvius, though she has no supernatural powers, shows Bulwer Lytton's interest in the occult – a theme which would emerge in his later writing, particularly The Coming Race. Only volume I of two is offered here.