Bulwer-Lytton, Robert

Bulwer-Lytton, Robert

Robert Bulwer-Lytton

1831 - 1891
Pseudonym: Owen Meredith

Name Variant(s): Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton

Robert Bulwer-Lytton (under the pseudonym Owen Meredith) and his father, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, each contributed poetry to the Arthurian canon. In order to be inclusive of his complicated name and titles, here is the beginning of his current Encyclopaedia Britannica entry:
Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st earl of Lytton, in full Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st earl of Lytton, Viscount Knebworth of Knebworth, 2nd Baron Lytton of Knebworth, pseudonym Owen Meredith . . . British diplomat and viceroy of India (1876–80) who also achieved, during his lifetime, a reputation as a poet.
Robert's father was well-known as a novelist, and beyond that "he was a figure; rather as Oscar Wilde was later a figure" (Chesterton 136). He was uniquely popular and wanted to stay that way — in a 1854 letter to his son, Edward wrote "I don't think, whatever your merit, the world would allow two of the same name to have both a permanent reputation in literature. You would soon come to grudge me my life, and feel a guilty thrill every time you heard I was ill” (Lytton 60). Later in the letter, after the fatherly advice to get a job, Edward wrote that if HE didn't have to work, he'd be in France "writing New King Arthurs, which none save an affectionate son would read" (ibid.) Eventually, Edward relented and approved of his son's literary pursuits, provided it was under a pseudonym and not published for two years. 

Of his considerable output, The Arthurian Annals credit Owen Meredith with three Arthurian poems and cite two tangents (one with a reference to Merlin and one involving Avalon). "Queen Guenevere,"...

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