Aurora Floyd (1863) is a sensation novel written by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It is a follow-up novel to Braddon's highly popular Lady Audley's Secret (1862). The plot follows the eponymous heroine, the daughter of a marriage between a nobleman, and an actress, as she grows into sexual maturity and is embroiled in mystery and scandal. The story includes such controversial elements as bigamy, murder, and elopement.
Lady Audley's Secret was one of the first and most successful sensation novels of the late 19th century. A young gentleman of leisure, Robert Audley, is spurred into action when his friend Geroge Talboys goes missing from Audley Court. As an amateur detective, Robert travels the length and breadth of the country, only to discover that the answer to the mystery lies in the true identity of his uncle's wife, Lady Audley. True to its genre, the novel brings danger home to the private sphere of the country house and questions the unassailable boundaries of class. It is also a strident feminine criticism of the times, though debate still rages as to whether Braddon tidies her questions away too neatly at the end of the novel.
This is a highly sensational story, full of clever, sprightly, and powerful writing, although calculated to make us believe that modern society is sadly in need of moral improvement. Miss Braddon writes with great fluency and case, and appears to have a natural aptitude for plotting. In abandoning the stage and music - teaching for this department of literature, we do not think she has mistaken her vocation. The first chapter of 'Aurora Floyd' is a story in itself. It tells the history of Mr. Archibald Floyd who came from 'the land o' cakes,' and worked his way up in the world till he became the senior partner of the great banking firm of Floyd, Floyd and Floyd, Lombard Street. It pictures him at his country residence, a bachelor past the prime of life, desolate and wealthy. 'It follows him to the theatre of Lancashiretown, where he falls in love with an actress — Miss Eliza Prodder by name — and marries her immediately; her theatrical acquaintances assuring her, in language more sincere than elegant, that she would be a great fool to refuse an old fellow like him, with lots of money — for they had acquired an idea of his wealth by his treating them in an adjoining tavern. There is nothing very attractive about her but her bright, black eyes; she is a mystery to the ladies who meet her at her new home, and they speak evil and are jealous of her; she is amazed at the grandeur of her new position; but earthly glory is short - lived, she dies, leaving behind a helpless babe and an inconsolable husband ...
Moving away somewhat from the melodrama-heavy plots of her earlier works, Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Lovels of Arden is a sweeping family epic that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen or Downton Abbey. With the family fortune and reputation on the line, the Lovels are forced to take desperate measures. Will daughter Clarissa be able to balance her familial obligations and her own quest for happiness?
'it only rests with yourself to become Lady Audley, and the mistress of Audley Court' When beautiful young Lucy Graham accepts the hand of Sir Michael Audley, her fortune and her future look secure. But Lady Audley's past is shrouded in mystery, and to Sir Michael's nephew Robert, she is not all that she seems. When his good friend George Talboys suddenly disappears, Robert is determined to find him, and to unearth the truth. His quest reveals a tangled story of lies and deception, crime and intrigue, whose sensational twists turn the conventional picture of Victorian womanhood on its head. Can Robert's darkest suspicions really be true? Lady Audley's Secret was an immediate bestseller, and readers have enjoyed its thrilling plot ever since its first publication in 1862. This new edition explores Braddon's portrait of her scheming heroine in the context of the nineteenth-century sensation novel and the lively, often hostile debates it provoked. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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