Lady Audley's Secret

Lady Audley's Secret

3.4 18
by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Robert Giddings
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Mary Elizabeth Braddon knows much that ladies are not accustomed to know."  —Henry James

Chris Willis Birkbeck College
"This impressive, scholarly new edition brings together a wealth of supplementary material, much of which is almost unobtainable elsewhere. Several fascinating appendices include contemporary parodies of the novel, extracts from stage versions, contemporary criticism and well-chosen extracts from Braddon's other work. Natalie Houston's scholarly introduction provides useful insights into Braddon's life and work. This edition will be invaluable to anyone studying or teaching the novel, or just reading it for enjoyment."
Kate Flint Rutgers University
"This intelligent edition offers a wonderful introduction not just to Lady Audley's Secret, but to the whole publishing phenomenon of sensation fiction. By emphasizing questions of alterable identity, the new Victorian culture of information, and the relationship of fiction to other media, Natalie Houston compellingly brings home the connection of this novel with many important issues today."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781843549062
Publisher:
Atlantic Books
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Series:
Crime Classics Series
Pages:
490
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835–1915) published almost 90 books during her long career, including The Doctor's Wife and The Trail of the Serpent. Robert Giddings is an eminent literary critic who reviews for such publications as the Guardian, the New Statesman, and the Sunday Times.

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