Just read, Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Braddon

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I love a good Victorian novel and Lady Audley’s Secret seems to have been the first Victorian scandal novel too (another reason to read it). Immensely popular, running into 8 editions in its first year of publication. Publishers and journalists should really bear that in mind when talking  about today’s publishing ‘phenomenons’. Nothing new there, which also seems apt as Mary Braddon herself lamented that everything had been written, there was nothing new, while writing Lady Audley’s Secret, according to Jenny Uglow who wrote the introduction to the above, 1985 Virago Classics edition. I enjoyed this book a lot, it seemed an appropriate yarn to take on a brief family visit and I had to stop myself from becoming antisocial as I got into it – this did not take long. At times I thought it was a little overegged but very enjoyable nevertheless. I liked the pacing in particular and Braddon’s need to get into the psyche of Lady Audley, I can imagine the shocked faces of Victorian ladies while reading this. And I also liked the little cliffhangers which you get in novels that were first serialised. A good, if not quite brilliant read.

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