Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803 – 1873) was an English writer and politician, who coined such phrases as ‘the great unwashed’, ‘pursuit of the almighty dollar’ and ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.
His satirical romance novel Godolphin provides an insight into the day-to-day lives of the early 19th-century British elite. The story is jointly narrated by the idealistic Percy Godolphin and the object of his affections, Constance Vernon, as they rise to prominence among the London elite.
When Godolphin was originally published in the wake of the 1832 reform bill, which Lytton supported, it was warmly received by the public. However there was outcry among some members of the upper classes for its obvious mockery of anti-reform politicians. A second edition was brought out in 1840 with some of these references revised and toned down.