Paul Clifford

Edward BULWER-LYTTON (1803 - 1873)

Most men who with some earnestness of mind examine into the mysteries of our social state will perhaps pass through that stage of self-education in which this Novel was composed. The contrast between conventional frauds, received as component parts of the great system of civilization, and the less deceptive invasions of the laws which discriminate the meum from the tuum, is tempting to a satire that is not without its justice. The tragic truths which lie hid in what I may call the Philosophy of Circumstance strike through our philanthropy upon our imagination. We see masses of our fellow-creatures the victims of circumstances over which they had no control,—contaminated in infancy by the example of parents, their intelligence either extinguished or turned against them, according as the conscience is stifled in ignorance or perverted to apologies for vice. A child who is cradled in ignominy, whose schoolmaster is the felon, whose academy is the House of Correction,—who breathes an atmosphere in which virtue is poisoned, to which religion does not pierce,—becomes less a responsible and reasoning human being than a wild beast which we suffer to range in the wilderness, till it prowls near our homes, and we kill it in self-defence.

In this respect the Novel of “Paul Clifford” is a loud cry to society to amend the circumstance,—to redeem the victim. It is an appeal from Humanity to Law. And in this, if it could not pretend to influence or guide the temper of the times, it was at least a foresign of a coming change. Between the literature of imagination, and the practical interests of a people, there is a harmony as complete as it is mysterious. The heart of an author is the mirror of his age. The shadow of the sun is cast on the still surface of literature long before the light penetrates to law; but it is ever from the sun that the shadow falls, and the moment we see the shadow we may be certain of the light. ( Adapted from the Preface)

Genre(s): Published 1800 -1900

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter I Jim Locke
00:18:17
Play 02 Chapter II Jim Locke
00:27:41
Play 03 Chapter III Jim Locke
00:21:20
Play 04 Chapter IV Jim Locke
00:35:22
Play 05 Chapter V Jim Locke
00:17:36
Play 06 Chapter VI Jim Locke
00:30:45
Play 07 Chapter VII Jim Locke
00:23:45
Play 08 Chapter VIII Jim Locke
00:14:52
Play 09 Chapter IX, part 1 Jim Locke
00:31:54
Play 10 Chapter IX, part 2 Jim Locke
00:13:32
Play 11 Chapter X Jim Locke
00:31:17
Play 12 Chapter XI, part 1 Jim Locke
00:26:42
Play 13 Chapter XI, part 2 Jim Locke
00:27:48
Play 14 Chapter XII Jim Locke
00:22:10
Play 15 Chapter XIII Jim Locke
00:35:40
Play 16 Chapter XIV Jim Locke
00:16:22
Play 17 Chapter XV, part 1 Jim Locke
00:23:46
Play 18 Chapter XV, part 2 Jim Locke
00:24:20
Play 19 Chapter XVI Jim Locke
00:37:01
Play 20 Chapter XVII Jim Locke
00:11:49
Play 21 Chapter XVIII, part 1 Jim Locke
00:30:06
Play 22 Chapter XVIII, part 2 Jim Locke
00:22:30
Play 23 Chapter XIX Jim Locke
00:24:33
Play 24 Chapter XX Jim Locke
00:20:02
Play 25 Chapter XXI Jim Locke
00:36:29
Play 26 Chapter XXII Jim Locke
00:26:45
Play 27 Chapter XXIII Jim Locke
00:28:46
Play 28 Chapter XXIV Jim Locke
00:16:45
Play 29 Chapter XXV Jim Locke
00:35:34
Play 30 Chapter XXVI, Chapter XXVII Jim Locke
00:14:23
Play 31 Chapter XXVIII Jim Locke
00:33:49
Play 32 Chapter XXIX Jim Locke
00:17:47
Play 33 Chapter XXX Jim Locke
00:13:00
Play 34 Chapter XXXI Jim Locke
00:27:26
Play 35 Chapter XXXII, part 1 Jim Locke
00:28:13
Play 36 Chapter XXXII, part 2 Jim Locke
00:24:45
Play 37 Chapter XXXIII Jim Locke
00:41:40
Play 38 Chapter XXXIV Jim Locke
00:39:40
Play 39 Chapter XXXV, part 1 Jim Locke
00:37:56
Play 40 Chapter XXXV, part 2 Jim Locke
00:26:20
Play 41 Chapter XXXVI Jim Locke
00:40:35
Play 42 Tomlinsoniana, part 1 Jim Locke
00:19:43
Play 43 Tomlinsoniana, part 2 Jim Locke
00:30:26