The Last Days of Pompeii

ISBN: 158715739X
ISBN 13: 9781587157394
By: Edward Bulwer-Lytton John Gregory Betancourt

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About this book

The Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by the baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. Once a very widely read book, now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of 1st-century Rome with both older cultures & coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have been subordinated by Rome, & 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. The Witch of Vesuvius, tho 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.

Reader's Thoughts

Erik Graff

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.


توجد هذه الرواية في مكتبتي منذ زمن لكني لم اقرأها من قبل ، وهي عبارة عن رواية عالمية من ترجمة المكتبة العالمية للفتيان والفتيات ، تتحدث بشكل شيق ومثير عن آخر أيام بومباي وهي مدينة إيطالية تعرضت للتدمير بشكل كامل بفعل الحمم البركانية في صيف عام 79 للميلاد.أسلوب المترجم والملخص " أكرم الرافعي " بسيط وسلس ، ويشرح بعض الكلمات غير المعروفة أو الدارجة.وطبعًا هذه الرواية مبسطة وموجهة للقراء الصغار " للفتية " ولكني استمتعت بقراءتها جداً ، وإذا وقعت بين يدي ترجمة " للكبار " فأكيد سوف أكرر التجربة واقرأها مرة أخرى.ملاحظة : الطبعة التي بحوزتي هي الطبعة الخامسة وقد صدرت عام 1978م ، يعني طبعة أثرية.:)

James Violand

Good read. The movies that supposedly follow this novel - do not! The reader gets to understand the motives of the personalities in a typical Roman city of the 1st century. Entertaining.


A romance, heavy on the details, leading up to the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79. Throw in some hedonistic noblemen, gladiators, Christians, a scheming seductress and a few lions - what's not to like?"I believe in two deities - Nature and Necessity; I worship the last by reverence, the first by investigation. What is the morality my religion teaches? All things are subject but to general rules: the sun shines for the joy of the many... though it may bring sorrow to the few; the night sheds sleep on the multitude... but it harbors murder as well as rest; the forests adorn the earth... but shelter the serpent and the lion; the ocean supports a thousand barks... but it engulfs the one. It is only thus for the general, and not for the universal benefit, that Nature acts, and Necessity speeds on her awful course." - Edward Bulwe-Lytton, The Last Days of Pompeii

حسام عادل

رواية جميلة للغاية,ملحمة من الرومانسية والخيانة والدسائس والتضحية والدم,لم أكن أعرف كاتبها قبلاً,ولا أحسب أني حتى قرأت اسمه يوماً أو اسم عمل من أعماله,ولولا المصادفة البحتة وترشيح صديق عزيز لها لما تعرفت على رواية بتلك الروعة,لن أحكي تفاصيلها حتى لا أحرق الأحداث لكن يكفيني كملخص أن أقول أن تلك الرواية كلاسيكية حديثة,بها نفس التيمات الكلاسيكية العذبة - غير المملة والتقليدية - وفي نفس الوقت تصلح كرواية حديثة طازجة الدماء جداً;باختصار هي إحدى الروايات الرومانسية التى تصلح لكل سن وكل زمن,وحتى مع معرفة أحداثها لن تمل قراءتها مرة بعد الأخرى.النهاية وحدها بكل ماتحمله من معنى فلسفي جميل وراقي تستحق نجمة وحدها.أرشحها للجميع..أعجبتني

Kat Gunya

This is overall an amazing book. Once you get past the stumbling block that is old English, you suddenly find yourself extremely engaged and do not want to put the book down. The plot is exciting and the book itself is fairly fast-paced. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a voracious reading appetite or somebody looking for a challenge.


Really beautiful. If you can handle the iambic pentameter, it was a classic epic of hero versus man and nature. Really liked it!!!Makes me want to go to Pompeii!


A book I read more from seeing it referenced in other 19th century novels than for its own sake. I gave it four stars rather than three for the picture it indirectly reveals of educated British morals and tastes.


Once you get past the over-the-top writing, this is pretty good.


This guy is often cited as the writer of the worst English novel ever (Paul Clifford) but this one is actually fun to read. If you can get through other Victorian novels like Dickens, you can get through this.

Elizabeth S

3 1/2 stars. As with many classics, the beginning is yawn-worthy. But it does eventually pick up the pace and become quite exciting. Knowing that at the end the city is destroyed, one wonders who (if anyone) will survive. Which increases the intensity of the subplots, because even if the good-guys win, they may still die at the end. So one wonders if perhaps the bad-guys will win, but suffer in the final demise. Read to find out!


This is another tangent off of my current Dickens kick. It was a fictionalized account of, obviously, the last days of Pompeii. There was love, romance, heartbreak, heroes and villains, betrayals and last-minute rescues. Really, what more could you ask? It reminded me of reading Dickens but with fewer memorable characters with quirky traits. I do, however, recommend it.


There's not a lot of point criticising Bulwer-Lytton's overblown, excessively flowery, never-use-one-word-if-you-can-use-ten style, because that was his shtick - if that's the sort of thing you like, then you'll like this. I didn't, much, I found the characters stock, the descriptions stilted and the historical accuracy too glued on. I did get involved though once the volcano erupted (oops, hope that hasn't given away the plot), and there was one insight into crowd behaviour that is universal and topical: this is the audience for the gladiators:"Aroused - inflamed by the spectacle of their victims, they forgot the authority of their rulers. It was one of those dread popular convulsions common to crowds wholly ignorant, half free and half servile."It's a readable novel, but not much more.


Lecture très ardue au début avec description des personnages, des lieux, de l'histoire ; il faut s'accrocher sur une centaine de pages et après c'est très prenant !

Silvina Perez

Very interesting!

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