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Lady Audley's Secret

M. E. Braddon

Book Overview: 

Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s first novel, Lady Audley’s Secret, tells the story of the lovely Lucy Graham, who becomes Lady Audley and who conceals a scandalous secret from her new husband and his family. The plot, which includes madness, bigamy, attempted murder, and seduction, makes this a shocking but highly successful story and a wonderfully absorbing book.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It was very foolish not to send the address in the telegraphic message," said Robert.

"When people are dying it is not so easy to think of all these things," murmured my lady, looking reproachfully at Mr. Audley with her soft blue eyes.

In spite of Lady Audley's fascination, and in spite of Robert's very unqualified admiration of her, the barrister could not overcome a vague feeling of uneasiness on this quiet September evening.

As he sat in the deep embrasure of a mullioned window, talking to my lady, his mind wandered away to shady Figtree Court, and he thought of poor George Talboys smoking his solitary cigar in the room with the birds and canaries.

"I wish I'd never felt any friendliness for the fellow," he thought. "I feel like a man who has an only son whose life has gone wrong with him. I wish to Heaven I could give him back his wife, and send him down to Ventnor to finish his days in peace."

Still my lady's pretty mus. . . Read More

Community Reviews

whatever could be Lady Audley's secret? could it be... murder? miscegenation? malfeasance? misdirected malevolence ending in tears, tragedy, and general tawdriness? an assumed identity? flatulence? that not-so-fresh feeling? bigamy? bigotry? child abuse? child abandonment? une affaire de coeur? u...more

This is a sadly forgotten but great 19th century sensation novel that rivals some of Wilkie Collins' best books such as The Woman in White and the Moonstone. Its also one of the first to feature a female villain which wasn't typical of early literature. Nevertheless, this dynamic creates an inter...more

Lady Audley's secret is yet another Victorian 'sensational' novel I read for the year. My first such experience was The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I have read that Collins and Ms. Braddon are known as the best authors of the genre and that Lady Audley's secret is regarded as a rival to The...more

Top Ten Secrets of Lady Audley

10. is a dude
9. is husband's mom
8. killed somebody
7. used to be hooker
6. is screwing the gardener
5. escaped from mental hospital
4. baby is not husband's baby
3. is slowly poisoning husband
2. is dead; husband just having creepy imaginary conversations with ghost
1. Sor...more

A slight mix for me. Definitely an interesting novel, gripping, engaging with some wonderful characters and interesting insights into Victorian society - a 5-star until the last quarter, but I'm not sure how I felt about the ending. Nonetheless, definitely one that I need to think about more and...more

This was recommended to me as a cross between Austen & Heyer but other than the abundance of grey eyes (Heyer) this book didn't remind me of either author - more like Conan Doyle or Poe.

Fortunately I love Conan Doyle & Poe.

Fast paced at the start, the book slowed down about three quarters...more

After around fifty pages or so of reading this I was incredibly disappointed. I’d found out what Lady Audley’s secret was. I didn’t really want to read any further. But, that’s what I was meant to think. Her actual secret isn’t revealed to the very end. And, I must say, I was rather surprised. I...more

Loved this...great fun. 4.5-stars, rounded down.

As I read Lady Audley's Secret, I kept thinking of Poe, Conan Doyle and Anne Bronte. A nice combination, if I must say so myself. Braddon has created an interesting story line and a creepy environment in which to plunk down her motley set of charac...more

An entertaining Victorian Era novel that is similar to The Woman in White. They both were part of the short lived "Sensation" genre of novels from mid 19th century England, although Lady Audley's Secret doesn't quite measure up to The Woman in White. The beautiful but devious Lady Audley was far...more

LADY AUDLEY'S SECRET's title would suggest that the book holds in its pages something that would deeply scandalize the reader. I suppose, the fact that it didn't surprise me, when the ominous secret was finally revealed, says something about what our society has grown accustomed to, as well as th...more

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