When his good friend George Talboys disappears, Robert is determined to find him, and to unearth the truth. His quest reveals a tangled story of lies and deception, crime and intrigue, whose sensational twists turn the conventional picture of Victorian womanhood on its head.
After the The Mill on the Floss I wanted something less intense to read and Lady Audley's Secret proved to be an excellent choice and a wonderfully entertaining mystery. I was surprised at the simplicity of the prose, as compared to other Victorian authors, the story had me hooked from the beginning and it became a real page-turner.
|Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915)|
Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a prolific writer who, despite lamenting in a letter in 1862 that the tastes of her mainly working-class readers tended to " crime, treachery, murder,slow poisoning and general infamy", was realistic enough to give those readers exactly what they wanted and become one of the most popular authors of the 'sensation novels' of the Victorian era.
In Lady Audley's Secret you will find melodramas involving bigamy and blackmail, missing persons and murderous intentions but what outraged Victorian society the most was the author taking her crime into the heart of the home. The angelically beautiful,gentle and loving Lady Audley appears to be the perfect picture of Victorian womanhood but.....
" No one but a pre-Raphaelite would have painted, hair by hair, those feathery masses of ringlets, with every glimmer of gold, and every shadow of brown. No one but a pre-Raphaelite would have so exaggerated every attribute of that delicate face as to give a lurid brightness to the blonde complexion, and a strange sinister light to the deep blue eyes. No one but a pre-Raphaelite could have given to that pretty pouting mouth the hard and almost wicked look it had in the portrait...............for my lady, in his portrait of her, had something as the aspect of a beautiful fiend."There is nothing particularly mysterious about the plot but it's fun to read and there are a few surprises. What I enjoyed most was the detailed, often gothic type, descriptions of people and places which brought both the characters and their environment vividly to life.
Vintage Mystery Challenge
The Classics Club