Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel Paul Clifford is most famous for its opening phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night". Today, this phrase is seen as a textbook example of purple prose - writing which is overly extravagant and flowery, drawing the reader's attention more to the words than the story.
In the context of the original novel, was this really purple prose? Was the novel full of purplitude elsewhere, or was it (for its time) a reasonably ordinary piece of writing?
The book is available on Project Gutenberg, so you can read it yourself if necessary to judge its purpleness or otherwise.