Edward George Bulwer-Lytton!
You know, the guy who originally composed that opening sentence that Charlie Brown's beagle, Snoopy, is always plagiarizing for his own novel: "It was a dark and stormy night..."
Okay, okay, a little background might be in order... Way back in 1982, the English Department at San Jose State University initiated the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a tongue-in-cheek literary "competition" that challenges entrants to come up with the opening sentence to "the worst of all possible novels." The contest sprang from the twisted mind of Professor Scott Rice, whose stumbled upon the source of the line “It was a dark and stormy night” while a graduate student. For a class assignment on minor Victorian novelists, he selected Bulwer-Lytton, who was best known for foisting these works upon an unsuspecting society: The Last Days of Pompeii, Eugene Aram, Rienzi, The Caxtons, The Coming Race, and – not least – Paul Clifford, where you will find that "dark and stormy" phrase.
Pop culture sidenote: Lytton’s ancestral estate at Knebworth was chosen by
director Tim Burton as the setting for Wayne Manor in the 1989 movie Batman.
"As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting." — Cathy Bryant, Manchester, England