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Zanoni was first published in 1842 in London. Inspired by a dream, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote this engaging, well-researched, fictional account of the eternal conflict between head and heart, between wisdom and love, played out by Rosicrucians during the dramatic days of the French Revolution. Bulwer-Lytton, himself a Rosicrucian, described Zanoni as "a truth for those who can comprehend it, and an extravagance for those who cannot." Following an important introduction, the novel is divided into seven parts. The titles of these parts indicate the sevenfold path of spiritual development that lies behind the sotry. The forth section, "The Dweller of the Threshold," is the centerpiece of the book, and reveals significant esoteric facts and experiences. Novelist, dramatist, scholar, editor, and an active member of Parliament, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton was a successful author, whose writings were widely read in England and Europe. He poured into Zanoni, more than any of his other novels, all of the ancient esoteric wisdom that he felt he could publicly reveal in an age of widespread materialism. This work remains today one of the great pioneer landmarks of esoteric writing.

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