Lady Audley's Secret (Crime Classics)

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9781843549062: Lady Audley's Secret (Crime Classics)

Epitomizing the scandalous Victorian "sensation" novel and establishing Braddon as the doyenne of the genre, this addictively plotted tale features a flaxen-haired beauty hiding a murderous criminal secret Miss Lucy Graham is a newcomer to the parish of Audley. She may be an impoverished governess, but she is also kind, and ineffably beautiful. When Sir Michael Audley sets eyes upon her he finds himself in the grip of "the terrible fever called love." Their courtship raises many eyebrows, but Sir Audley has set his heart on the sweet-natured girl, and before long they marry. Appearances, however, can be deceptive; and Sir Michael’s nephew, Robert, begins to suspect that his new aunt is not all she seems. His investigations into her murky past soon bring shocking secrets to the surface. Originally published in 1862, the massive success of this novel featuring blackmail, bigamy, and murder made Mary Elizabeth Braddon a household name. It remains a classic Victorian spine-tingler.

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From the Back Cover:

Lady Audley’s Secret (1862) was one of the most widely read novels in the Victorian period. The novel exemplifies “sensation fiction” in featuring a beautiful criminal heroine, an amateur detective, blackmail, arson, violence, and plenty of suspenseful action. To its contemporary readers, it also offered the thrill of uncovering blackmail and criminal violence within the homes of the upper class. The novel makes trenchant critiques of Victorian gender roles and social stereotypes, and it creates significant sympathy for the heroine, despite her criminal acts, as she suffers from the injustices of the “marriage market” and rebels against them.

This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a broad selection of primary source material, including reproductions of the twenty-two woodcut illustrations from the London Journal serialization of the novel, extracts from two Victorian dramatizations of the work, satirical commentaries, and contemporary reviews.

About 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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Braddon, Mary Elizabeth
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