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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

Lady Audley's Secret is a gorgeous example of the Victorian 'Sensation Novel' which dominated Great Britain during the 1860's and '70s. It includes a unique female mastermind of evil, while also presenting enough evidence for a lively counter argument over who the real villain is. The prose is top-n

Logically, this is not a book that should appeal to me. What makes Lady Audley's Secret the special book that it is? Why do I like it as much as I do?

The book belongs to the genre of Gothic fiction. Here follows a definition:

“Gothic fiction refers to a style of writing that is characterized by ele

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? une

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 interest

Lady Audley's Secret is a Victorian "sensational". My love for "sensational" novels began with The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I read that Lady Audley's Secret is regarded as a rival to The Woman in White and it made me want to read the book.

Told by an unknown narrator, the story is focused o

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. Sortof

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 of the way

"What do we know of the mysteries that may hang about the houses we enter?"

I was both intrigued and hesitant to read this mid-nineteenth century work. First of all, I just had to know this huge secret that Lady Audley would presumably be keeping from us! Secondly, this is labeled as a sensation nove

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 did

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 character

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