Ellen Price was born in Worcester in 1814. In 1836 she married Henry Wood, who worked in the banking and shipping trade in Dauphiné in the South of France, where they lived for 20 years. On the failure of Wood's business, the family (including four children) returned to England and settled in Upper Norwood near London, where Ellen Wood turned to writing. This supported the family (Henry Wood died in 1866). She wrote over 30 novels, many of which (especially East Lynne), enjoyed remarkable popularity. Among the best known are Danesbury House, Oswald Cray, Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles, The Channings, Lord Oakburn's Daughters and The Shadow of Ashlydyat. Wood's works were translated into many languages, including Russian. Leo Tolstoy, in a 9 March 1872 letter to his older brother Sergei, noted that he was "reading Mrs. Wood's wonderful novel In the Maze"
East Lynneby Ellen Wood, Elisabeth Jay (Editor), Henry Wood
East Lynne is an English sensation novel of 1861 by Ellen Wood. A Victorian bestseller, it is remembered chiefly for its elaborate and implausible plot, evolving around infidelity and double identities. There have been numerous stage and film adaptations. Lady Isabel Carlyle, a beautiful and refined young woman, leaves her hard-working lawyer-husband and her infant children to elope with an aristocratic suitor. After he deserts her, and she bears their illegitimate child, Lady Isabel disguises herself and takes the position of governess in the household of her former husband and his new wife.
The much-"quoted" line: "Gone! And never called me mother!" does not appear in the book but comes from later stage adaptations.
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Women didn't always have it as comfortable as they do now. East Lynne is a Victorian tragedy with all the span of emotions the Victorians can muster. Should appeal to a wide range of readers.
If you love the great stories of love and intrigue written by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, you'll love this book. I could not put it down!