Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lady Audley's Secret

Lady Audley's Secret. Mary Elizabeth Braddon. 1862/1998. Oxford World's Classic. 496 pages.  

It lay low down in a hollow, rich with find old timber and luxuriant pastures; and you came upon it through an avenue of lines, bordered on either side by meadows, over the high hedges of which the cattle looked inquisitively at you as you passed, wondering, perhaps, what you wanted; for there was no thoroughfare, and unless you were going to the Court you had no business there at all. At the end of this avenue there was an old arch and a clock-tower, with a stupid, bewildering clock, which had only one hand; and which jumped straight from one hour to the next, and was therefore always in extremes. Through this arch you walked straight into the gardens of Audley Court.

I definitely enjoyed this one! I thought it was a GREAT read. I'm not sure it is a great book, but, it offers entertainment and thrills. I personally liked the writing style of this one, I found it very suspenseful and satisfying. If possible, it's best not to know Lady Audley's "secret" before reading. I'd say avoid reading too much detail about this one. I am going to try my best not to give away any details that are best left as surprises. But I do want to introduce you to the characters...

People you'll meet:

Michael Audley, a widower with a near-grown daughter, Alicia, who falls madly, deeply in love with a younger woman, Lucy Graham, who is employed as a governess by one of his friends.

Lady Audley, a young woman with a secret; It was almost too easy for Lucy Graham to agree to become Lady Audley. He's a rich man, a man with status, and he wants HER, a nobody. Who could say no?! Especially if you don't have your heart set on marrying for love.

Alicia Audley, a young woman too close in age to Lady Audley; she is NOT happy to have a new stepmother. She is not happy that her new stepmother is oh-so-gorgeous and that men seem to see only her. She's also suspicious and distrustful. Granted, she would probably be distrustful of ANY woman in that situation. And the fact that Lady Audley does in fact have a secret shouldn't be taken as proof that she has great instincts.

Robert Audley, a nephew of Michael Audley; Alicia really, really WISHES that Robert would pay attention to her. She really is hoping that he will notice that she is all grown up and ready to be proposed to. When we first meet Robert, you might say that he completely lacks ambition and gumption. In other words, he doesn't do much at all. This doesn't remain the case.

George Talboys, a friend of Robert Audley. He is newly returned to England, he's now got some money. He could potentially have been a very very happy man if he'd found his wife and son alive and waiting for him. Unfortunately, soon after his return, he learns that his wife has died. His son is being cared for by his father-in-law. He's too shocked to really take care of the boy himself, and, he feels perhaps its best not to disturb the boy too much. After all, his mother has died, and the boy's grandfather has been a part of his life from the start.

Phoebe and Luke Marks, Phoebe serves as Lady Audley's maid, Phoebe and her husband are the first to discover her secret.

I would definitely recommend this one!!! This would make a great companion read to The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, but, do try to read this one FIRST. 

Read Lady Audley's Secret
  • If you want to read one of the first sensation novels
  • If you enjoy suspense and mystery and detective stories
  • If you like classics, Victorian classics
  • If you are interested in reading women writers of the nineteenth century

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


CharmedLassie 12:08 PM  

Definitely a great read while not being a great book! But the key aspects of fiction - namely enjoyability and thrills - which attracted the Victorians to the sensation novel still hold true for us.

Braddon's also an interesting specimen as a writer. Living with a man she wasn't married to, writing with the flow of events, editing magazines: certainly someone of interest for feminists!

Tasha B. 12:28 PM  

I'm reading this right now! George Talboys is super-annoying.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP