The negation of sexuality kills the innocence. And the misogyny kills the passion.
I love the way you bring out the subtlety of emotions and ‘Le jeu des Apparences’.

Fabulous – it’s been a long time since I have read Lady Audley’s Secret, and I had forgotten how sensational it is. I’m not sure whether you will be able to get hold of it, but there is a very good paper by Jennifer Kushnier on the book – details at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/25058576

Thank you for an encouraging comment and useful information. “Educating Boys to be queer”- even a first page of Kushnier’s paper fascinates me. I’ll get a copy of her article. Grateful that you stimulate my research.

Together with Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon dominated the market for what came to be known as "the novel of sensation" during the 1860s. Designed to unsettle, the genre caused moral alarm among critics. Not only did it revel in the dubious subject matter of murder, bigamy, illegitimacy and madness, it seemed to pathologise the very act of reading itself, since its narrative method - which fore shadows that of modern detective fiction - turned readers into addicts, titillating them with a series of withheld secrets and startling revelations.

Rereading Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret gave me an odd twinge of sympathy with the kill-joys of the Victorian age - not so much with their moral outrage, but with their recognition that these novels do make you read them in a peculiar way. I'd had the same experience with Collins's The Woman in White a few years ago. In both cases, I was almost affronted to find that I remembered almost none of the detail of their complex plots. It's as if these narratives compel you to devour them at such lightning speed that they only go into your short-term memory - which means they can be just as exciting the second time.

Braddon published Lady Audley's Secret when she was only 27, astonishing considering the virtuoso technique it displays. Even more amazing was the discovery of her own life story. As one of her many contemporary critics put it, "it has, we presume, been [her] lot to see a phase of life open to few ladies". This woman - whose novels outraged and fascinated Victorian readers, whose hard-bitten professionalism earned her a fortune from her prolific writing, and who ended up a respectable grande dame of popular fiction - led a life as transgressive as those of many sensation heroines.

Together with the annotated text of the play itself, this edition includes an introduction addressing the life and work of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and placing Lady Audley’s Secret: A Drama in Two Acts in the context of the sensation fiction phenomenon. Appendices include a substantial selection of reviews of Lady Audley’s Secret —of the novel as well as of its dramatic adaptations—as well as a selection from the novel for comparison with the play.

“This edition of George Roberts’s version of Lady Audley’s Secret makes available for the first time the version performed at the St. James’s Theatre. It comes with a useful introduction, comparative analysis of the play and the novel, and a cross-section of reviews, both of the novel and of this particular dramatization. The annotations are generally very helpful. … [and the edition includes] some invaluable background resources.” — Jim Davis, University of Warwick

The negation of sexuality kills the innocence. And the misogyny kills the passion.
I love the way you bring out the subtlety of emotions and ‘Le jeu des Apparences’.

Fabulous – it’s been a long time since I have read Lady Audley’s Secret, and I had forgotten how sensational it is. I’m not sure whether you will be able to get hold of it, but there is a very good paper by Jennifer Kushnier on the book – details at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/25058576

Thank you for an encouraging comment and useful information. “Educating Boys to be queer”- even a first page of Kushnier’s paper fascinates me. I’ll get a copy of her article. Grateful that you stimulate my research.

Together with Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon dominated the market for what came to be known as "the novel of sensation" during the 1860s. Designed to unsettle, the genre caused moral alarm among critics. Not only did it revel in the dubious subject matter of murder, bigamy, illegitimacy and madness, it seemed to pathologise the very act of reading itself, since its narrative method - which fore shadows that of modern detective fiction - turned readers into addicts, titillating them with a series of withheld secrets and startling revelations.

Rereading Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret gave me an odd twinge of sympathy with the kill-joys of the Victorian age - not so much with their moral outrage, but with their recognition that these novels do make you read them in a peculiar way. I'd had the same experience with Collins's The Woman in White a few years ago. In both cases, I was almost affronted to find that I remembered almost none of the detail of their complex plots. It's as if these narratives compel you to devour them at such lightning speed that they only go into your short-term memory - which means they can be just as exciting the second time.

Braddon published Lady Audley's Secret when she was only 27, astonishing considering the virtuoso technique it displays. Even more amazing was the discovery of her own life story. As one of her many contemporary critics put it, "it has, we presume, been [her] lot to see a phase of life open to few ladies". This woman - whose novels outraged and fascinated Victorian readers, whose hard-bitten professionalism earned her a fortune from her prolific writing, and who ended up a respectable grande dame of popular fiction - led a life as transgressive as those of many sensation heroines.

The negation of sexuality kills the innocence. And the misogyny kills the passion.
I love the way you bring out the subtlety of emotions and ‘Le jeu des Apparences’.

Fabulous – it’s been a long time since I have read Lady Audley’s Secret, and I had forgotten how sensational it is. I’m not sure whether you will be able to get hold of it, but there is a very good paper by Jennifer Kushnier on the book – details at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/25058576

Thank you for an encouraging comment and useful information. “Educating Boys to be queer”- even a first page of Kushnier’s paper fascinates me. I’ll get a copy of her article. Grateful that you stimulate my research.


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