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Zanoni

Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Book Overview: 

Zanoni, a timeless Rosicrucian brother, cannot fall in love without losing his power of immortality; but he does fall in love with Viola Pisani, a promising young opera singer from Naples, the daughter of Pisani, a misunderstood Italian violinist. An English gentleman named Glyndon loves Viola as well, but is indecisive about proposing marriage, and then renounces his love in order to pursue occult study. The story develops in the days of the French Revolution in 1789. Zanoni has lived since the Chaldean civilization. His master Mejnor warns him against a love affair but Zanoni does not heed. He finally marries Viola and they have a child. As Zanoni experiences an increase in humanity, he begins to lose his gift of immortality.( Summary by Wikipedia )

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .t let him go home on foot to-night; the streets of Naples are not always safe.' I immediately remembered that some of the Calabrian bravos had been busy within the city the last few weeks, and suddenly meeting Cetoxa—but here he is."

Further explanation was forbidden, for they now joined the count. As Glyndon entered the carriage and drew up the glass, he saw four men standing apart by the pavement, who seemed to eye him with attention.

"Cospetto!" cried one; "that is the Englishman!" Glyndon imperfectly heard the exclamation as the carriage drove on. He reached home in safety.

The familiar and endearing intimacy which always exists in Italy between the nurse and the child she has reared, and which the "Romeo and Juliet" of Shakespeare in no way exaggerates, could not but be drawn yet closer than usual, in a situation so friendless as that of the orphan-actress. In all that concerned the weaknesses of the heart, Gionetta had large e. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Well I'm on page 394 so I can't claim that the novel's denouement hasn't completely turned me off; yet, in light of the fact that I view published novels to be "as perfect" iterations of the ideas the author has delved into--which is to say, complete works in and of themselves in so far as they c...more

Okay- it is not really ABOUT the French Revolution, but a good deal of it takes place during the 'Reign of Terror'.
It made me pick up Thomas Carlyle's epic 'The French Revolution- A History', plus, it is written by Edward Bulwer- Lytton, who wrote 'VRIL The Power Of The Coming Race', so you can b...more

The English novelist Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873), is today best-known for inspiring The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a competition for the worst opening lines for the worst possible novels. This is a result of Bulwer-Lytton having opened one of his nov...more

Below is the brief synopsis of the book with some side notes. Unfortunately, the novel is written in a very prosaic Victorian English, a style, which modern readers might not have the time or the patience to read. I would love to see a movie or a screenplay made of this story if it kept the origi...more

I feel like I should be wearing a ruffly blouse and sipping hot chocolate while I'm curled up in a twilit drawing room while I'm reading it. Why this is, I'm not entirely sure, but it has something to do with the incredibly flowery prose, doubtless.

This book is beautiful. The writing is elegant. The characters are believable and moving. There are few books that have moved me to tears and this book is now among those few. The book is layered wondrously. If desired, it can be read solely for the surface story of those who would seek truth and...more

I expected to read fifty pages, tire of the florid, overwrought meditations on beauty and mortality, and return it to the library, but to my surprise Zanoni may well be one of the best books I read this year.

Zanoni is a deeply engaging and well-written occult allegory/romantic tale that touches o...more

It is easier to add to our read list here at Goodreads and a couple years ago if I found a book while reading or listening to an OTR (Old Time Radio), I started putting a note in my comment section. Edward Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni was a find many years before I started Goodreads and taking notes. I...more

Es relatado la vida de una chica que proviene de un padre dedicado a la música y frustrado por no conseguir lo que quiere. Ella nace con un don especial para el espectáculo.

Tras esta premisa el texto gira en torno a la muchacha, con un circulo amoroso entre varios humanos, y un misterioso ser, q...more

Published in 1842 and set during the French Terror [1789] this is NOT a Tale of Two Cities. What Bulwer-Lytton has produced is a turgid gothic romance popular during the period. Lots and Lots of exposition and little by way of dialogue, so it will not be the sort of book that modern genre readers...more

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