Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dark and Somewhat Stormy...well, maybe more blustery than stormy.

For those of you with a cruel enjoyment of painful prose, the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is akin to Christmas...well, maybe Christmas without the decorative tree, the gifts, the warm sense of family, the joy....Okay maybe more like a a few days after Christmas, when all that good will has dissipated and the credit card bills start to arrive.

In any case, it is time again to bath in the exquisitely crafted precision prose that is Bulwer-Lytton 2013.  For those few out there who have no idea what I am referring to, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton penned what to many is the worst opening lines in literature:

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

To help immortalize this brilliant writing in the annals of  history, the annual Bulwer-lytton Contest was born, open to anyone who dares set pen to paper...

Here are some excerpts from 2013:

"She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination." Chris Wieloch, Brookfield, WI

“Don’t know no tunnels hereabout,” said the old-timer, “unless you mean the abandoned subway line that runs from Hanging Hill, under that weird ruined church, beneath the Indian burial ground, past the dilapidated Usher mansion, and out to the old abandoned asylum for the criminally insane where they had all those murders.”Lawrence Person, Austin, TX

General Lee arranged for the dreaded surrender, yet capitalized on his opponents’ weaknesses to the very end, striking a tiny parting blow for the Army of Northern Virginia (chuckling to himself) as he remembered from Academy days how many Union commanders had struggled with spelling even common words, and so ran his finger along the map and settled on Appomattox.Randal Pilz, Milton, FL
Tex sauntered into the saloon, tipped his hat towards Miss Kitty seated at the bar, and drawled, “I’ve been excogitatin’, and we don’t take kindly to no loquacious sesquipedalians ‘round these parts, lessin’ they be indigenous” – and with that, subsequently shot dead the visiting chatty professor of English standing next to her.Rick Cheeseman, Waconia, MN

Read the rest at the Bulwer-Lytton site.  Enjoy!


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