Knebworth House is haunted by novelist says Lord Cobbold

THE pen is mightier than the sword – an iconic proverb coined by Victorian novelist, poet and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839.

It’s a phrase which makes regular appearances to this very day; just like its creator, the ghost of whom is said to haunt the gothic Times Territory stately home where he once lived.

Lord David Cobbold, the great-great-grandson of Bulwer-Lytton, made the revelation about Knebworth House on the BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, which was broadcast on Sunday.

The 73-year-old told how he hears the whispers of his ancestor and other spectres on the estate, which has been home to the Lytton family since 1490.

“I hear them and feel their presence but my wife sees them,” he said.


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“I have the feeling that Bulwer-Lytton is still there.”

Lord Cobbold, who established Knebworth’s tradition of hosting rock concerts back in the 1970s, added: “It’s the spirit of the house.

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“You just feel that this is a rather special place to be.”

Born in London in May 1803, Edward Bulwer-Lytton attended Cambridge University before becoming a Member of Parliament and a prolific novelist.

His many popular books include The Caxtons and The Last Days of Pompeii.

He was created Baron Lytton of Knebworth in 1866 and died at Torquay, in Devon, in 1873.

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