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The Doctor's Wife

M. E. Braddon

Book Overview: 

The heroine, Isabel Sleaford, was driven early in her childhood to bury herself in, and develop her sense of self through, romantic novels and poetry. She is thus ill-adapted to the conventional, provincial structures and strictures laid upon her when she marries the very good and adoring, but also boring and unimaginative, Dr. George Gilbert. Isabel forms friendships with men (including her husband's best friend) who are more amenable to her romantic inclinations, and inevitably encounters social condemnation as a result. The book shows how life’s tragedies and the world’s cruel judgments shape Isabel, as she grows more mature, somewhat embittered, but also – true to her nature – beautifully resilient.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e strolling in his grove, and should see her and rescue her from death by drowning, or a mad bull, or something of that sort, and thereupon fall in love with her? Nothing was more life-like or likely, according to Izzie's experience of three-volume novels. Unhappily she discovered from Mr. Raymond that Lord Hurstonleigh was an elderly married man, and was, moreover, resident in the south of France; so that bright dream was speedily shattered. But there is no point of the compass from which a hero may not come. There was hope yet; there was hope that this bright spring-day might not close as so many days had closed upon the same dull record, the same empty page.

Mr. Raymond was in his highest spirits to-day. He liked to be with young people, and was younger than the youngest of them in his fresh enjoyment of all that is bright and beautiful upon earth. He devoted himself chiefly to the society of his orphan prot. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Isabel Sleaford lives in a dream world filled with characters from novels by Dickens, Scott and Thackeray. She longs to break away from her boring existence as a children's governess and live the exciting life of one of the heroines in her favourite books. When parish doctor George Gilbert proposes

So many people complain that books from this era are long. I think books today are short and leave out the most interesting bits. Compared to this, Madame Bovary comes out as the equivalent of 'They married, and then they were run over by a truck. ' This is an imitation of that work, by someone who

Loved this! Nothing that I thought would happen happened and that kept me on the edge of my seat for the last 150 pages. This is a slower read perhaps than Lady Audley’s Secret. There is more philosophical meditation here but I loved that part of it. There are so many moral questions of duty, desire

I enjoyed reading this book, but it was not a page turner or shocking in its content like Lady Audley`s Secret, which I rated 5 stars. An enjoyable story nontheless.

The Doctor’s Wife (1864) was the hyper-prolific Mary Elizabeth Bradden’s eighth novel, written in the wake of her prototypical sensation novel Lady Audley’s Secret (1861), which catapulted her to fame, or notoriety. Three years on, Braddon was tiring of critics “pelting” her with the word “sensation

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