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The Lady of Lyons

By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

The Lady of Lyons; or, Love and Pride, commonly known as The Lady of Lyons, is a five act romantic melodrama written in 1838 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton. It was first produced in London at Covent Garden Theatre on 15 February 1838 and was revived many times over the rest of the 19th century. It was also adapted into two operas, and formed part of the plot of an operetta.

Pauline Deschapelles has jilted the Marquis Beauséant. Claude Melnotte, the son of Pauline's gardener, is in love with her. Beauséant persuades Melnotte to disguise himself as a foreign prince to trick Pauline into marrying him. When Melnotte takes Pauline to his widowed mother's home after the marriage, she discovers the ruse and gets the marriage annulled. Melnotte enlists in the army to assuage his remorse. Pauline's father is then threatened with bankruptcy, and Beauséant is willing to pay the debt if Pauline will marry him. Melnotte becomes a war hero, and Pauline realises that she is truly in love with Melnotte after all.

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Bulwer-Lytton's literary career began in 1820 with the publication of a book of poems and spanned much of the 19th century. He wrote in a variety of genres, including historical fiction, mystery, roma...

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