Bulwer-Lytton's quotations from Scott, which I have scanned, converted to html, and appended to the Project Gutenberg text, appear in his footnote to the 1844 Preface to his The Last Days of PompeiiGeorge P. Landow.

What the strong common-sense of Sir Walter Scott has expressed so well in his Preface to "Ivanhoe" (1st edition), appears to me at least as applicable to a writer who draws from classical as to one who borrows from feudal antiquity. Let me avail myself of the words I refer to, and humbly and reverently appropriate them for the moment: "It is true that I neither can, nor do pretend, to the observation [observance? — B-L's interpolated query] of complete accuracy even in matters of outward costume, much less in the more important points of language and manners. But the same motive which prevents my writing the dialogue of the piece in Anglo-Saxon, or in Norman-French [in Latin or Greek], and which prohibits my sending forth this essay printed with the types of Caxton or Wynken de Worde [written with a reed upon, five rolls of parchment, fastened toa cylinder, and adorned with a boss], prevents my attempting to confine invscif within the limits of the period to which my story is laid. It is necessary, for exciting interest of any kind, that the subject assumed should be, as it were, translated into the manners as well as the language of the age we live in.

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"In point of justice, therefore, to the multitudes who will, I trust, devour this book with avidity [hem!], I have so far explained ancient manners in modern language, and so far detailed the characters and sentiments of my persons, that the modern reader will not find himself, I should hope, much trammelled by the repulsive dryness of mere antiquity. In this, I respectfully contend, I have in no respect exceeded the fair license due to the author of a fictitious composition.

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"It is true," proceed-, my authority, "that this license is confined within legitimate bounds; the author must introduce nothing inconsistent with the manners of the age." — Preface to Ivanhoe.

I can add nothing to these judicious and discriminating remarks; they form the canons of true criticism, by which all fiction that portrays the past should be judged.

Last modified 4 January 2007