Sunday, May 31, 2009

It was a Dark and Stormy Night



Snoopy made it famous.
"It was a dark and stormy night..."




Did you know that this line originally came from a story by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (who definitely needed a pen name because if he had a fairly successful autographing, his fingers would go numb from signing his name). That phrase is from the 1830's and from Paul Clifford (a book I've never heard of until this morning when I was playing around on my computer). Here's the sentence, a little meandering but famous none the less.


"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."

7 comments:

Terri Reed said...

Very interesting tidbit. I wonder how the phrase became so popular when the book is so obsecure.
Thanks Pam for the info.

Edna said...

That is great information about the title, but I like ole snoopy also. LOL


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

EllenToo said...

So it came from a book and there was more to the sentence than just "It was a dark and stormy night.." I never really gave it much thought.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Pam! Fun info. And congrats on your HOLT final.

Becca said...

And there's a contest every year in the author's name - not for good writing, but bad, like that meandering first sentence...

Now if he'd just stopped at the part we're familiar with, Snoopy couldn't take as much credit. ;)

Linda said...

Snoopy should have followed his writing instincts! He could have become famous. On the serious note, the actual opening was very descriptive. Enjoyed it.

PamelaTracy said...

You know, I just wanted to post a cartoon, a writing cartoon, and I thought of Snoopy. When I google, I discovered theat Snoopy, during his writing segments, always started his book with... It was a dark and stormy night. That's what got me searching. Funny, huh? And believe me, I don't have time on my hands. I love Snoopy.