This is the dramatic story of the longest-running marital feud of the nineteenth century, which shocked and entertained the public for over thirty years.
He was Edward Bulwer Lytton, one of the most successful and prolific writers of the early Victorian period. As well as producing best-selling novels, articles and plays, he was for much of his life an active politician. He was also prickly, vain and paranoid.
She was Rosina Wheeler, who married him in 1828 against the wishes of his mother. She was a beautiful, witty and strong-willed woman, who unfortunately never knew when to stop.
In some terrible way, they needed each other and deserved each other.
After the breakdown of the marriage, Rosina pursued her husband with a single-minded campaign of pamphlets, letters to the press and even novels to prove she was in the right. Among those caught in the crossfire were Lady Caroline Lamb, Fanny Trollope, Benjamin Disraeli and Charles Dickens. The climax came in 1858 when Rosina appeared at the hustings during her husband’s election campaign and denounced him to the assembled voters. Edward responded by having her committed to a lunatic asylum.
Stephen Wyatt lives in Kent and writes for television, theatre and radio. He is the only writer to have won the Tinniswood award for best original radio script twice. He has written more than 20 original plays for radio and his many radio dramatisations include Vanity Fair, Tom Jones and BBC Radio 4’s Classic Chandler Series. His television work includes Dr Who and Casualty. Both his Dr Who stories Paradise Towers and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy have been released on DVD. His theatre work has been seen across the UK and he is currently writing a new Dr Who audio drama for Big Finnish and a new script for the Weaver Dance Company about the Pygmallion Legend. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge for a thesis about Victorian Theatre and has taught and lectured on radio drama widely. Stephen is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Greenwich University.