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Last Days of Pompeii

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Book Overview: 

Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Once a very widely read book and now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of first-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 favorably but not uncritically.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . cups were emptied and refilled at that glowing board, they sang the following strain:

BACCHIC HYMNS TO THE IMAGE OF DEATH I Thou art in the land of the shadowy Host, Thou that didst drink and love: By the Solemn River, a gliding ghost, But thy thought is ours above! If memory yet can fly, Back to the golden sky, And mourn the pleasures lost! By the ruin'd hall these flowers we lay, Where thy soul once held its palace; When the rose to thy scent and sight was gay, And the smile was in the chalice, And the cithara's voice Could bid thy heart rejoice When night eclipsed the day.

Here a new group advancing, turned the tide of the music into a quicker and more joyous strain.

II Death, death is the gloomy shore . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was just an adventure book with a historical setting. I think it had no blatant historical mistakes (I don't know much about Rome or Pompeii), and it was entertaining enough, but it didn't have me hooked, as I expected. I also expected more drama from the Vesubius eruption, but it had just a...more

I read this thing while taking Latin and belonging to the Latin Club at Maine Township South High School South in Park Ridge, Illinois. Although not highly regarded as literature, I, as an early teen, liked it quite a lot except for what, even then, I felt to be a rather saccharine Christianity.

Once wildly popular, Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton is now best know for a couple of his quotes. One is "the pen is mightier than the sword," which is often used; the other is the opening to his novel Paul Clifford: "It was a dark and stormy night," which was later used by Charles Schulz in Peanuts,...more

A sympathetic book for teenagers from 11 years old. It is difficult to get in the Pompeian world of the year 79 AD. The author describes little clothing, architecture, or daily life of the inhabitants of Pompeii. I guess it must be difficult to immerse yourself in Pompeii of the 1st century if yo...more

When I was in the third grade, I attended St Mary's School, Downers Grove, IL. Every Wednesday, we were summoned from our classroom to have this book read to us.

At least I THINK it was this book. That was 60 years ago, so who can be sure.

It was the pastor of our church, a Catholic priest, who did...more

رواية رومانسية شيقة من الأدب الكلاسيكي ، كتبت عام 1834م ، جرت أحداثها في مدينة بومبي الإيطالية قبيل ثوران بركان فيزوف المدمر سنة 79 للميلاد ، للرواية قيمة أخلاقية و دينية كذلك ، فهي تسلط الضوء على درجة الفساد و الإنحلال الأخلاقي التي تردى إليها سكان المدينة و أيضا تفشي عبادتهم للآلهة الوثنية المت...more

"The Last Days of Pompeii"is a novel written by the baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. It shouldn't surprise you to know that the novel is about the destruction of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, better known as a really, really long time ago. The novel was inspired by the...more

Fascinated me! Revealed how the people of Pompeii lived, what their daily lives were like. As the author describes the volcano erupting, I felt that I was right there and could feel what the people felt. I read this way before there was much information out or any movies made so it was just mind...more

I read this perhaps 25 years ago, but just downloaded a copy, not remembering that I'm already familiar with it. The opening lines reminded me. Of course, being so long ago, I don't remember a lot about the reading (good reason to revisit the book,) but it did make quite an impression on me. Sinc...more

قصة دارمية لطيفة جداً تدور أحداثها قبل حدوث بركان فيزوف بأيام ، الأيام الأخيرة لمدينة بومبي، المدينة الرومانية الشهيرة التي كانت مشهورة بالفساد والتبذير والثراء الفاحش..

مؤامرات وحب وتضحيات ومدينة تضج بالحياة والكهنة ، أجواء رومانية جميلة رصعها ليتون في روايته..

قرأتها للمرة الثانية بعد سنوات عديدة...more

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