Mary E Braddon (1835-1915) began writing at the age of eight but it was not until she won an admirer as an actress that she could settle down to write serial fiction. She became a bestselling 'sensation' author and was read avidly by Tennyson, Dickens and Thackery. She wrote over eighty novels. Jenny Bourne Taylor studied at York and Warwick universities and is currently a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sussex. She has published widely.
Lady Audley's Secret / Edition 1by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Natalie M. Houston
Murder, mystery, mistaken identity, madness, bigamy, adultery: These were the special ingredients that made the sensation novel so delectable to the Victorian palate. Readers who devoured Lady Audley's Secret were thrilled and frightened by its inversion of the ideal Victorian heroine. Lady Audley looks like the angel-in-the-house ideal of Victorian/i>… See more details below
Murder, mystery, mistaken identity, madness, bigamy, adultery: These were the special ingredients that made the sensation novel so delectable to the Victorian palate. Readers who devoured Lady Audley's Secret were thrilled and frightened by its inversion of the ideal Victorian heroine. Lady Audley looks like the angel-in-the-house ideal of Victorian womanhood-she is blonde, fragile, and childlike-but her behavior is distinctly villainous. At a time when Victorian women were beginning to rebel against their limited roles as wives and mothers, novels such as Lady Audley's Secret spoke to their secret longings and fantasies.
Genteel women readers, slaving away as governesses in other people's families, could share the fantasy of poor Lucy, suddenly made a lady by her marriage to Sir Michael. Part detective story, part domestic drama, Lady Audley's Secret became a runaway bestseller of its era. Nearly a century and a half since it was first published, Lady Audley's Secret has lost none of its ability to disturb and captivate readers.
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Table of Contents
Mary Elizabeth Braddon: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Lady Audley's Secret
Appendix A: The Serialization of Lady Audley's Secret
1. The Serial Texts of Lady Audley's Secret
2. The Illustrations from The London Journal
Appendix B: Dramatizations
1. George Roberts, Lady Audley’s Secret. A Drama in Two Acts. Founded on, and in part adapted from, Miss Braddon’s novel of that name. The Original Version.
2. William E. Suter, Lady Audley’s Secret. A Drama in Two Acts, adapted from Miss Braddon’s popular work of the same title
Appendix C: Satires
1. "Rhymes For the Very Young"
2. Thomas Hood, "Maurora Maudley; or Bigamy and Buttons"
3. "Sensation! A Satire"
Appendix D: Reviews
1. The Times review
2. The Spectator review
3. "Our Female Sensation Novelists"
4. "Our Survey of Literature and Science"
5. H. L. Mansel, "Sensation Novels"
Appendix E: The New Criminal Heroine
1. Eliza Lynn Linton, "Little Women"
2. E. S. Dallas, The Gay Science
Appendix F: Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Penny Fiction
1. Lady Caroline Lascelles (pseud.), The Black Band, or The Mysteries of Midnight
2. Mary Elizabeth Braddon, The Doctor's Wife
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