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Zanoni first published in 1842 was inspired by a dream Sir Edward a Rosicrucian wrote this engaging well researched novel about the eternal conflict between head and heart between wisdom and love played out by the Rosicrucians before the dramatic background of the French Revolution He described his book Zanoni as a truth for those who can comprehend it and an extravagance for those who cannot Following his introduction the novel is divided into seven parts whose titles indicate the sevenfold path of spiritual development The fourth section The Dweller of the Threshold is the book's centerpiece revealing significant esoteric facts and experiencesA novelist a dramatist a scholar an editor and an active member of Parliament Sir Edward was an extremely successful author whose writings were widely read throughout England and Europe He poured into this esoteric work all of the ancient esoteric wisdom that he felt he could reveal to the public during an age buried deeply in materialismThis work remains one of the great pioneering landmarks of esoteric writingC O N T E N T SPrefaceIntroductionThe MusicianArt Love and WonderTheurgiaThe Dweller of the ThresholdThe Effects of the ElixirSuperstition Deserting FaithThe Reign of TerrorNoteZanoni ExplainedArgument


10 thoughts on “Zanoni

  1. says:

    It is easier to add to our read list here at Goodreads and a couple years ago if I found a book while reading or listening to an OTR Old Time Radio I started putting a note in my comment section Edward Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni was a find many years before I started Goodreads and taking notes I wish I could remember exactly what book mentioned this story but I am guessing probably Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Charlotte's Inheritance or Bird of Prey Besides those books being wonderful the author would list books when appropriate hence Zanoni It has taken me a long time to finally pick up this story and all I can say in a few words this story speaks to my soul It lifts me up higher in my thoughts of life and The Almighty Is this a religious read? It depends on what one considers that realm There are no scriptures quoted but the goodevil element of humanity and Faith or lack of in God is apparent This is an ultimate favorite and wonderful find for me I read with a Kindle so with that device you can highlight a namething and search the book The reason I bring that up is a name I did this to showed up in another story in my Delphi Collection of his works So in my curiosity I came up with a story that is shorter written earlier with some of the same characters Zicci Many older stories are not always talked about on the Internet and Zicci was that sort So of course I will read that next and compareEdward Bulwer Lytton was an interesting character and writer I will be putting some quotes here from my editionOne of the peculiarities of Bulwer was his passion for occult studies They had a charm for him early in life and he pursued them with the earnestness which characterised his pursuit of other studies He became absorbed in wizard lore he equipped himself with magical implements — with rods for transmitting influence and crystal balls in which to discern coming scenes and persons and communed with spiritualists and mediumsThis is a kind of historical fiction story Its center is of Robespierre and The French Revolution Reign of Terror Before the author goes into that history he talks of the men of Enlightenment After reading this book I come away with knowing history and the men of The Enlightenment Age The lack of belief in God is quite profuse and it is always interesting when some men about to die look for God who they denied exist I come away after reading this with a stronger faith in God Can one believe in God and science? Yes there are so many wonders and unknowns that may never be explained and having a Faith in God does not make one any less of intelligent because one believes We have a free choice to believe or not believe I chose to have FaithIt has been justly said that the present half century has witnessed the rise and triumphs of science the extent and marvels of which even Bacon’s fancy never conceived simultaneously with superstitions grosser than any which Bacon’s age believed “The one is in fact the natural reaction from the other The science seeks to exclude the miraculous and reduce all nature animate and inanimate to an invariable law of sequences the does the natural instinct of man rebel and seek an outlet for those obstinate questionings those ‘blank misgivings of a creature moving about in worlds not realised’ taking refuge in delusions as degrading as any of the so called Dark Ages” It was the revolt from the chilling materialism of the age which inspired the mystic creations of “Zanoni” and “A Strange StoryWhen writing this story Lytton had some help from a friend who after he died left some manuscripts of the unknown and the author chose to unite this with his ideas and a story line Two quotes below are from that gentleman talking to the author and Lytton giving a history of his friendI will believe him to have been a very respectable man who only spoke the truth when he boasted of his power to be in two places at the same time” “Is that so difficult?” said the old gentleman “if so you have never dreamed”He seemed to have seen much of the world and to have been an eye witness of the first French Revolution a subject upon which he was equally eloquent and instructive At the same time he did not regard the crimes of that stormy period with the philosophical leniency with which enlightened writers their heads safe upon their shoulders are in the present day inclined to treat the massacres of the past he spoke not as a student who had read and reasoned but as a man who had seen and sufferedLytton writes to the readersThis confession leads me to the sentence with which I shall conclude If reader in this book there be anything that pleases you it is certainly mine but whenever you come to something you dislike — lay the blame upon the old gentleman London January 1842The editor writesAs a work of art the romance is one of great power It is original in its conception and pervaded by one central idea but it would have been improved we think by a sparing use of the supernatural The inevitable effect of so much hackneyed diablerie — of such an accumulation of wonder upon wonder — is to deaden the impression they would naturally make upon us In Hawthorne’s tales we see with what ease a great imaginative artist can produce a deeper thrill by a far slighter use of the weird and the mysteriousI disagree wholeheartedly I think the supernatural element is an important part of the story for so many reasons It gives of a good verses evil the meaning of life and would one really like to live forever on Earth or look for everlasting life in HeavenYou see many characters which at the end of the story the editor explains though he says the reader will come away with their own ideas One character has no care but science for science's sake without a care for humanity Another sees humanity and science and the need to uplift others A character of passion and desires that does not think of consequences and not a bad person A person with superstition that lurks in the mind and is afraid of things unknown not having Faith in what is good I could go on and on but will rap my thoughts up soonIn the explanation of the story at the end they say this is really not a romance especially on Viola's part but I disagree again This is romance from start to finish I loved Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities but to me this exceeds that book in so many ways I never knew what twist and turns this book would take the ending was all that in grandeurIn my edition the story described Zanoni was published in 1842 and is often considered to be the first modern British novel of occult fantasy The book was hugely influential on theosophists and other similar groups during the nineteenth century Bulwer Lytton confessed that in his younger years he took a great interest in the secret philosophical society Rosicrucianism wishing to truly understand its theory and doctrine The sect was founded during the medieval period in Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz and was centred on the idea of discovering ancient truths and understanding nature and the spiritual realm that are beyond the reach of the average man The central characters of the novel are the eponymous Zanoni his spiritual master Mejnour and the young aspiring opera singer Viola Bulwer Lytton sets the novel in two worlds the physical and material one and the transcendent realm which can only be accessed by those of the brotherhood When the novel opens Zanoni has already undergone the initiation into the sect and trained enough to reach the highest level of the order and become immortalStory in short Zanoni meets a young Italian girl Viola and her English suitor Clarence Glyndon and seeing their future wants to help themIf interested I have a lot of highlights and some notes look on my Edward Bulwer Lytton shelf for that collectionOh when shall men learn at last that if the Great Religion inculcates so rigidly the necessity of FAITH it is not alone that FAITH leads to the world to be but that without faith there is no excellence in this — faith in something wiser happier diviner than we see on earth — the artist calls it the Ideal — the priest Faith The Ideal and Faith are one and the same Return O wanderer return Feel what beauty and holiness dwell in the Customary and the Old Back to thy gateway glide thou Horror and calm on the childlike heart smile again O azure Heaven with thy night and thy morning star but as one though under its double name of Memory and Hope”I loved every page of this story and it will not be easily forgotten 💖💖 When a reader finds a book it talks to them and when one finds one that touches their heart that is a masterpiece in their mind