THE DEAD AND THE COUNTESS, by Gertrude Atherton
THE CEDAR CLOSET, by Lafcadio Hearn
THE WRAITH OF BARNJUM, by F. Anstey
THE JOLLY CORNER, by Henry James
THE ROLL-CALL OF THE REEF, by A. T. Quiller-Couch
THE BOWMEN, by Arthur Machen
OMAN, By Leopold Kompert
THE MIDDLE TOE OF THE RIGHT FOOT, by Ambrose Bierce
THE TOLL-HOUSE, by W.W. Jacobs
THE HAUNTED COVE, by Sir George Douglas
THE GHOST OF LORD CLARENCEUX, by Arnold Bennett
THE HAUNTED AUTOMATON, by W. C. Morrow
THE GHOSTS AT GRANTLEY, by Leonard Kip
THE SPECTRE COOK OF BANGLETOP, by John Kendrick Bangs
THE SUPERSTITIOUS MAN’S STORY, by Thomas Hardy
THE SPECTRE BRIDEGROOM, by William Hunt
THE SPECTRE IN THE CART, by Thomas Nelson Page
THE TALE OF THE PORCELAIN-GOD, by Lafcadio Hearn
THE BELL IN THE FOG, by Gertrude Atherton
THE HAUNTING OF WHITE GATES, by G. M. Robins
THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND, by Mrs. Alfred (Louisa) Baldwin
NO. 5 BRANCH LINE: THE ENGINEER, by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards
THE SHADOW IN THE CORNER, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE SECRET CHAMBER, by Margaret Oliphant
THE UPPER BERTH, by F. Marion Crawford
MR. GRAY'S STRANGE STORY, by Louisa Murray
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A TALE OF A GAS-LIT GHOST, by Anonymous
DOG OR DEMON? by Theo Gift
THE STORY OF MEDHANS LEA, by E. Heron & H. Heron
HOW FEAR DEPARTED FROM THE LONG GALLERY, by E. F. Benson
ON THE BRIGHTON ROAD, by Richard Middleton
THE NEW PASS, by Amelia B. Edwards
THE VIOLET CAR, by E. Nesbit
KENTUCKY'S GHOST, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
THE SHIP THAT SAW A GHOST, by Frank Norris
CHRISTMAS EVE ON A HAUNTED HULK, by Frank Cowper
YUKI-ONNA, by Lafcadio Hearn
THE ADVENTURE OF THE GERMAN STUDENT, by Washington Irving
FULLCIRCLE, by John Buchan
THE GHOST IN THE CAP’N BROWN HOUSE, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
THE STRANGER, by Ambrose Bierce
THE SOUTHWEST CHAMBER, by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
THE READJUSTMENT, by Mary Austin
EVELINE’S VISITANT, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
SIR EDMUND ORME, by Henry James
THE HAUNTED DRAGOON, by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
THE PICTURE ON THE WALL, by Katharine Tynan
THE BANSHEE'S WARNING, by Charlotte Riddell
THE SERPENT'S HEAD, by Lady Dilke
THE DEAD MAN OF VARLEY GRANGE, by Anonymous
THE SCREAMING SKULL, by F. Marion Crawford
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AT CHRIGHTON ABBEY, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE HAUNTED MILL, by Jerome K. Jerome
THE GHOST CLUB, by John Kendrick Bangs
THE SHADOWS OF THE DEAD, by Louis Becke
THE ROOM IN THE TOWER, by E. F. Benson
THE HAUNTED AND THE HAUNTERS, by Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton
THE MIDDLE BEDROOM, by H. de Vere Stacpoole
THE DRUMMER GHOST, by John William DeForest
MISS JÉROMETTE AND THE CLERGYMAN, by Wilkie Collins
THE SPECTRE BRIDE, by William Harrison Ainsworth
THE TAPESTRIED CHAMBER; or, The Lady in the Square, by Sir Walter Scott
THE OLD NURSE’S STORY, by Elizabeth Gaskell
THE JUDGE’S HOUSE, by Bram Stoker
AT THE END OF THE PASSAGE, by Rudyard Kipling
THE WITHERED ARM, by Thomas Hardy
JOHN CHARRINGTON’S WEDDING, by Edith Nesbit
THE MAN OF SCIENCE, by Jerome K. Jerome
WHAT DID MISS DARRINGTON SEE? by Emma B. Cobb
A GHOST STORY, by Mark Twain
THE SOUL OF ROSE DÉDÉ, by M.E.M. Davis
THE HOUSE OF THE NIGHTMARE, by Edward Lucas White
REALITY OR DELUSION? by Mrs Henry Wood
FISHER’S GHOST, by John Lang
THROUGH THE IVORY GATE, by Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews
THE COLD EMBRACE, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
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This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a broad selection of primary source material, including reproductions of the twenty-two woodcut illustrations from the London Journal serialization of the novel, extracts from two Victorian dramatizations of the work, satirical commentaries, and contemporary reviews.
'Lady Audley uttered a long, low, wailing cry, and threw up her arms above her head with a wild gesture of despair'
In this outlandish, outrageous triumph of scandal fiction, a new Lady Audley arrives at the manor: young, beautiful - and very mysterious. Why does she behave so strangely? What, exactly, is the dark secret this seductive outsider carries with her? A huge success in the nineteenth century, the book's anti-heroine - with her good looks and hidden past - embodied perfectly the concerns of the Victorian age with morality and madness.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Braddon's life and works
* Concise introductions to the novels and other texts
* 23 novels, with individual contents tables
* Rare novels appearing here for the first time, including Braddon’s first novel, last novel and her supernatural masterpiece GERARD, OR THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL
* Images of how the books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* The children’s book THE CHRISTMAS HIRELINGS is also included, with all of the original festive illustrations
* Braddon’s first collection of short stories RALPH THE BAILIFF AND OTHER TALES, featuring many of the author’s seminal tales — available in no other collection
* Special chronological and alphabetical contents tables for the short stories
* Easily locate the short stories you want to read
* Includes two of Braddon’s scarce plays
* Features two memoirs by the author, concerning her early theatrical career and the composition of her first novel
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
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THREE TIMES DEAD, OR THE SECRET OF THE HEATH (THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT)
CAPTAIN OF THE VULTURE
LADY AUDLEY’S SECRET
JOHN MARCHMONT’S LEGACY
THE DOCTOR’S WIFE
BIRDS OF PREY
RUN TO EARTH
THE LOVELS OF ARDEN
THE CLOVEN FOOT
THE GOLDEN CALF
GERARD, OR THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL
HIS DARLING SIN
The Children’s Book
THE CHRISTMAS HIRELINGS
The Shorter Fiction
RALPH THE BAILIFF AND OTHER TALES
FLOWER AND WEED, AND OTHER TALES
The Short Stories
LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
MY FIRST NOVEL: ‘THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT’
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The novel depicts a heroine trapped in an abusive and adulterous marriage, and effectively dramatizes the extra-legal pressures which kept many such unhappy marriages out of the courts: fear of personal scandal, and of betraying one’s family through the publicity and expense of the process. Aurora’s bigamous marriage dramatizes the need for expeditious divorce without the enormous social cost, but the overt sexuality of the heroine shocked contemporary critics. “What is held up to us as the story of the feminine soul as it really exists underneath its conventional coverings, is a very fleshy and unlovely record,” wrote Margaret Oliphant.
Braddon’s text is studded with references to contemporary events (the Crimean War, the Divorce Act of 1857) and the text has been carefully annotated for modern readers in this edition, which also includes a range of documents designed to help set the text in context.
I shall not record the name of her for love of whom AndrŽ de Brissac and I crossed one of the bridges, in the dim August dawn on our way to the waste ground beyond the church of Saint-Germain des PrŽs.
There were many beautiful vipers in those days, and she was one of them. I can feel the chill breath of that August morning blowing in my face, as I sit in my dismal chamber at my ch‰teau of Puy Verdun to-night, alone in the stillness, writing the strange story of my life. I can see the white mist rising from the river, the grim outline of the Ch‰telet, and the square towers of Notre Dame black against the pale-grey sky. Even more vividly can I recall AndrŽÕs fair young face, as he stood opposite to me with his two friendsÑscoundrels both, and alike eager for that unnatural fray. We were a strange group to be seen in a summer sunrise, all of us fresh from the heat and clamour of the RegentÕs saloonsÑAndrŽ in a quaint hunting-dress copied from a family portrait at Puy Verdun, I costumed as one of LawÕs Mississippi Indians; the other men in like garish frippery, adorned with broideries and jewels that looked wan in the pale light of dawn.
Our quarrel had been a fierce oneÑa quarrel which could have but one result, and that the direst. I had struck him; and the welt raised by my open hand was crimson upon his fair womanish face as he stood opposite to me. The eastern sun shone on the face presently, and dyed the cruel mark with a deeper red; but the sting of my own wrongs was fresh, and I had not yet learned to despise myself for that brutal outrage.
At the end of this avenue there was an old arch and a clock tower, with a stupid, bewildering clock, which had only one handÑand which jumped straight from one hour to the nextÑand was therefore always in extremes. Through this arch you walked straight into the gardens of Audley Court.
A smooth lawn lay before you, dotted with groups of rhododendrons, which grew in more perfection here than anywhere else in the county. To the right there were the kitchen gardens, the fish-pond, and an orchard bordered by a dry moat, and a broken ruin of a wall, in some places thicker than it was high, and everywhere overgrown with trailing ivy, yellow stonecrop, and dark moss. To the left there was a broad graveled walk, down which, years ago, when the place had been a convent, the quiet nuns had walked hand in hand; a wall bordered with espaliers, and shadowed on one side by goodly oaks, which shut out the flat landscape, and circled in the house and gardens with a darkening shelter.
The house faced the arch, and occupied three sides of a quadrangle. It was very old, and very irregular and rambling. The windows were uneven; some small, some large, some with heavy stone mullions and rich stained glass; others with frail lattices that rattled in every breeze; others so modern that they might have been added only yesterday. Great piles of chimneys rose up here and there behind the pointed gables, and seemed as if they were so broken down by age and long service that they must have fallen but for the straggling ivy which, crawling up the walls and trailing even over the roof, wound itself about them and supported them. The principal door was squeezed into a corner of a turret at one angle of the building, as if it were in hiding from dangerous visitors, and wished to keep itself a secretÑa noble door for all thatÑold oak, and studded with great square-headed iron nails, and so thick that the sharp iron knocker struck upon it with a muffled sound, and the visitor rung a clanging bell that dangled in a corner among the ivy, lest the noise of the knocking should never penetrate the stronghold.
"It was very nice of him," said Christabel, who had heard the story a hundred times before, but who was never weary of it, and had a special reason for being interested this afternoon. "And so he stayed a long time at my grandfather's, and you fell in love with him?"
"I began by being sorry for him," replied Mrs. Tregonell. "He told us all about his young wife—how happy they had been—how their one year of wedded life seemed to him like a lovely dream. They had only been engaged three months; he had known her less than a year and a half altogether; had come home from India; had seen her at a friend's house, fallen in love with her, married her, and lost her within those eighteen months. 'Everything smiled upon us,' he said. 'I ought to have remembered Polycrates and his ring.'"
"He must have been rather a doleful person," said Christabel, who had all the exacting ideas of early youth in relation to love and lovers. "A widower of that kind ought to perform suttee, and make an end of the business, rather than go about the world prosing to nice girls. I wonder more and more that you could have cared for him." And then, seeing her aunt's eyes shining with unshed tears, the girl laid her sunny head upon the matronly shoulder, and murmured tenderly, "Forgive me for teasing you, dear, I am only pretending. I love to hear about Captain Hamleigh; and I am not very much surprised that you ended by loving him—or that he soon forgot his brief dream of bliss with the other young lady, and fell desperately in love with you."
They walked through shrubberies that would have seemed a pathless wilderness to a stranger, but every turn in which was familiar to these two. The ground was undulating, and vast thickets of rhododendron and azalea rose high above them, or sank in green valleys below their path. Here and there a group of tall firs towered skyward above the dark entanglement of shrubs, or a great beech spread its wide limbs over the hollows; here and there a pool of water reflected the pale moonshine.
The house lay low, sheltered and shut in by those rhododendron thickets, a long, rambling pile of building, which had been added to, and altered, and taken away from, and added to again, like that well-known puzzle in mental arithmetic which used to amuse us in our childhood. It was all gables, and chimney-stacks, and odd angles, and ivy-mantled wall, and richly-mullioned windows, or quaint little diamond-paned lattices, peeping like a watchful eye from under the shadow of a jutting cornice. The stables had been added in Queen Elizabeth's time, after the monks had been routed from their snug quarters, and the Abbey had been bestowed upon one of the Tudor favourites. These Elizabethan stables formed the four sides of a quadrangle, stone-paved, with an old marble basin in the centreÑa basin which the Vicar pronounced to be an early Saxon font, but which Squire Tempest refused to have removed from the place it had occupied ever since the stables were built. There were curious carvings upon the six sides, but so covered with mosses and lichens that nobody could tell what they meant; and the Squire forbade any scraping process by officious antiquarians, which might lead to somebody's forcible appropriation of the ancient basin.
The Squire was not so modern in his ideas as to set up his own gasometer, so the stables were lighted by lanterns, with an oil-lamp fixed here and there against the wall. Into this dim uncertain light came Roderick and Vixen, through the deep stone archway which opened from the shrubbery into the stable-yard, and which was solid enough for the gate of a fortified town.
Titmouse's stable was lighted better then the rest. The door stood open, and there was Titmouse, with the neat little quilted doeskin saddle still on his back, waiting to be fed and petted by his young mistress. It was a pretty picture, the old low-ceiled stable, with its wide stalls and roomy loose-boxes and carpet of plaited straw, golden against the deep brown of the woodwork.