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By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915)

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Lady Audley's Secret

Inspired by a true life story, Lady Audley's Secret is the story of a woman's overwhelming ambition and passion for social success. When the first book came out in 1862, Victorian readers were shocked and outraged by its portrayal of aspects like bigamy, insanity, yearning for social status and the will to commit murder to achieve one's goals. The novel belongs to a genre that became very popular during that era. Known as “sensation novels” they can probably be equated to today's pulp fiction...

Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Aurora Floyd

Aurora Floyd, the daughter of a rich banker and an actress, could not have had a better start: back from a finishing school in Paris, she is beautiful, clever and rich. Two men instantly fall in love with her. But when they discover that she have done something very wrong in her past, who will stand by her side? With a set of unforgettable characters, the author delivers to us what she calls "a domestic drama". This book asks some major questions: is it good to love someone even if they lied? Even if they were amoral and behaved very badly? Is it good to forgive everything? Those questions are timeless, and so is this book.

The Doctor's Wife by Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Doctor's Wife

This is one of the Victorian “Sensationist” Mary Elizabeth Braddon's many novels (best known among them: “Lady Audley’s Secret”). It is extremely well written, fluid, humorous and, in places, self-mocking: one of the main characters is a Sensation Author. The motifs of the-woman-with-a-secret, adultery, and death are classic “sensationist” material. Yet this is also a self-consciously serious work of literature, taking on various social themes of the day. Specifically, Braddon presents...

Fenton's Quest by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Fenton's Quest

This story revolves around Gilbert Fenton, a very talented middle class businessman from London, who falls in love with a beautiful country woman far below his station. He decides to marry her anyway. But is she all that she seems?

Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Run to Earth

A captivating Victorian “sensation” novel by the author of Lady Audley's Secret, Run to Earth has it all: scoundrels and mercenaries, love and lust, jealousy, intrigue, and suspense. (Introduction by Gail Mattern)

The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Lovels of Arden

The novel traces the return of a young Englishwoman from several years of schooling abroad, to find that her life will not take up where she thought it would. Clarissa Lovel faced not only an emotionally and financially bereft father, but her first glimpse at love - and that not from the best vantage point.

Book cover Birds of Prey

The first part of the book builds the characters of four con men who become interconnected and attempt their schemes on each other. This book is the first of a two part story, the second part is the book Charlotte's Inheritance.

Book cover Golden Calf

A late 19th Century sensation novel following the young life of Ida Palliser as she searches for fortune and love within England's Gentry Class. Victorian sensation books were often set in ordinary, familiar setting, undermining the perceived adherence to social convention. They exposed the true lives of Victorian England's upper class - lives they tried to keep hidden.

Book cover Henry Dunbar

In this novel by Victorian sensationalist Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Henry Dunbar returns to England after a 30-year exile to India for committing forgery. What follows is an adventure involving murder, deception, the ethical quandaries of guilt and responsibility, and the struggle against the gender and social barriers of the Victorian era.

Book cover Phantom Fortune, A Novel

Lady Maulevrier was once a beautiful socialite, beloved and welcomed in London high society. But her life took a turn for the worse when her husband, whom she married only for his fortune, committed a terrible crime in India. Forty years later, she is taking care of her two granddaughters, Mary and Lesbia. She prefers Lesbia, because of her beauty. Therefore, the relationship between the sisters is tolerable at best. Mary marries the man of her dreams while Lesbia enters London society under the wing of her grandmother's faithful friend...

Book cover Dead Men's Shoes

Sybil, a gentlewoman who has to work for a living, finally finds employment as her rich uncle's house keeper. Nothing could be better: she would finally have an easy job in which she is treated well, and inherit her uncle's money after his death. But then she falls in love with the wrong man. When her uncle is poisoned, suspicion falls upon her. How would she be able to clear her name? What really happened to her uncle? This is a first rate murder mystery, for fans of Wilkie Collins. Yet it is also a story about love: family love, romantic love, and the love we bear for our community. - Summary by Stav Nisser.

Book cover Thou Art The Man

Sibyl married after assuming that her cousin, with whom she was in love, died. However, said cousin, who suffers from epilepsy, found himself near a murder scene and had no idea what happened. Fearing the worst, he ran away. Ten years later, Sibyl discovers that he is alive. What happened on that terrible night? - Summary by Stav Nisser

Book cover Day Will Come

It is an ideal honeymoon of an ideal couple. But somehow, the wife cannot stop dreaming that her husband would be shot and killed. He dismisses her dreams until they come true. Who commited the murder? How would the wife take it? - Summary by Stav Nisser

Book cover Asphodel

Like the Asphodel, a plant which grows far away from England, Daphne grows far away from home. In her first chance of freedom, at the age of almost 17, she finds an opportunity to forget for a while... Forget that her father, the renowned Sir Vernon Lawford, does not love her. To forget that, for some reason, nobody talks about her mother who traveled to the South of France and never returned. She can be a butcher's daughter from Oxford Street, she can control her friend's actions, she can fancy that she is in love with a man who does not even reveal his name...

Book cover Dead Love Has Chains

We see another facet of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's amazing talent in Dead Love Has Chains, written in her seventies. Focusing on character and human psychology rather than detection and crime, this is one of her most interesting novels. Pregnant and unmarried Irene Thelliston is sent home from India to live with her Aunt in Ireland. On her sea voyage she reveals her secret to Lady Mary Harling who swears to keep her confidence. Several years later to the horror of Lady Mary she becomes engaged to her son Conrad who has his own rather questionable past...

Book cover Rough Justice

Who murdered Lisa Rainer? Is it her former lover who went to seek fortune in Africa and fell in love with another on the way back? Were there any blood motives? Detective John Thorne would have to discover. Inspired by a true story, this novel is a page turner. Yet this is not only a detective novel. It deals with class, gender, propriety and family. - Summary by Stav Nisser

Book cover Just As I Am

The murder has finally been solved. After 20 years, Humphrey Vargas came with his dog, seemingly from no where, and informed the magistrate of the county that he murdered the popular Mr. Blake. He even told the magistrate the whole story. This book picks up where other books end and shows how this revelation brings about a chain of unexpected events. Knowing who murdered such a popular man does not make things any easier around the county, as memories finally surface, and relationships may change forever. - Summary by Stav Nisser.

Book cover Beyond These Voices

This novel tells the fictional life story of Veera Davis. The daughter of a poet and a poor noble woman, who is left in the care of her grandmother to a lonely and monotonous childhood, she has to make her way up in the world. But everything has a price. She tries to follow the conventions of the society which shunned her when she was poor. The novel explores themes such as love, money and loss. Don't worry, there is also a good murder mystery. Summary by Stav Nisser.

Book cover Taken at the Flood

Brought up by a parish schoolmaster with a hidden past, Sylvia Carew dreams of a future devoid of poverty. Will she be faithful to the man she adores or will she opt for the chance at wealth and position? What lengths will she go to and when all is said and done, will she be gratified with her "happily ever after"? Romance, ambition and greed, deceit and selfishness are at the root of this sensational Victorian novel by Braddon. As usual she manages to keep us in suspense until her well constructed surprise ending. - Summary by Celine Major

Book cover Sons of Fire

"He was a stranger in Matcham, a 'foreigner' as the villagers called such alien visitors. He had never been in the village before, knew nothing of its inhabitants or its surroundings, its customs, ways, local prejudices, produce, trade, scandals, hates, loves, subserviencies, gods, or devils , and yet henceforward he was to be closely allied with Matcham, for a certain bachelor uncle had lately died and left him a small estate within a mile of the village."

Book cover All Along The River

Isola Disney is very lonely. Her husband left her and traveled with his regiment to India. No one knows when he would return. Alone in a remote part of the country, she is an easy prey for the local nobleman. This realistic novel tells about choices and their consiquences. Perfect for fans of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's other works, and Madame Bovary. - Summary by Stav Nisser.

Book cover Fatal Three

Written by one of the most prolific authors of the 19th century The Fatal Three although not as sensational as some of her other novels serves up some very fascinating characters. It also raises some very interesting questions regarding moral & religious education, Victorian marriage laws, mental illness and how one's upbringing can determine one's fate. Delightful country homes and exquisite scenery provide the usual perfect backdrop for this enjoyable read by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. - Summary by Celine Major

Book cover Aurora Floyd Volume 2

Aurora Floyd is the spoiled, impetuous, but kind hearted daughter of Archibald Floyd, a wealthy banker and his wife, an actress who died shortly after Aurora's birth. As a teenager she is sent away to finishing school in Paris. This is volume two of the story which tells of Aurora's life with her husband John Mellish. This is a story of love, murder and the search for justice. - Summary by Michele Eaton

Book cover Christmas Hirelings

It is the Christmas season once again and things are, well, boring for the adults at Penlyon Castle. "...if somehow or other I had a pack of children belonging to me, I would keep Christmas with the best — keep it as it ought to be kept." says Sir John. His good friend Mr. Danby has the perfect solution - to hire some children to spend Christmas! Thus, the arrival of Lassie, Laddie, and little Moppet - Christmas and Sir John may never be the same again. Proof Listener - hallejk

Book cover One Life, One Love

Clara and Robert Hatrell lead an ideal life with their young daughter Daisy in a beautiful old fashioned cottage on the banks of the Thames. When his son Cyril goes away to school their friend and neighbor Ambrose Arden who is a notable scholar offers to tutor Daisy. Some time later Robert carrying a large amount in banknotes is found stabbed to death in a London rooming house supposedly lured there by the mention of someone called Toinette. The murderer is not found and the money trail implicates a Frenchwoman exchanging the notes in Cannes, Nice and Paris...

Book cover Cut by the County; or, Grace Darnel

Darnel Park is situated in a county that thrives on gossip and secrets, and the Darnel family, as it turns out, has many of them. An attempt at Sir Allan Darnel’s life, after various misunderstandings and misdirections, reveals an estranged son and a mysterious fiancée, and the Darnel family scrambles to conceal these new developments from not only the county but the Scotland Yard detective called in to investigate. - Summary by Adrienne Prevost.

Book cover Lost for Love

EXCERPT: In all things that he did, Flora's well-being was the doctor's paramount consideration. He brought pleasant people to his house; men of professional standing, and their wives. He sought to win friends for her, and the gentle charm of her manner endeared her to the people he brought about her, almost in spite of herself. To know her was to love her. To Cuthbert Ollivant's small circle of intimates Flora was known only as his ward.

Book cover John Marchmont's Legacy

Like Wuthering Heights, the center of this story is a dramatic love triangle, the setting is a huge English manor. Olivia Marchmont has always "done her duty." However, when she falls in love and her beloved is in love with another woman, the malice of her heart is released in full view. In this dramatic tale, the vivid description of the country is also important- as if nature has a part in it. Unlike many novels, nobody gets what they deserve at the end. Or do they? Read and decide for yourself.

Book cover Wyllard's Weird

A novel written in three volumes. In the golden age of steam, the London train wends its way across the Tamar into the strange and mystic land that is Cornwall, having left most of its length at Plymouth. A weary doctor gazes at the countryside, when the train grinds to a halt and his professional attention is demanded. A young woman. An apparent suicide. Who was she? What brought her to Cornwall? What drove her to kill herself? Or did she?

Book cover Mount Royal Vol. I

A classic Victorian sensation novel filled with romance, mystery, and murder with the emphasis on romance. -summary by Celine Major

Book cover Mount Royal Volume II

A classic Victorian sensation novel filled with romance, mystery, and murder with emphasis on romance. - summary by Celine Major

Book cover Mount Royal Volume III

A classic Victorian sensation novel filled with romance, mystery, and murder with emphasis on romance. - summary by Celine Major

Book cover Strange World

A compelling story by one of the most prolific authors of the Victorian "sensational novel" serves up the perfect blend of murder, greed, madness, secrets and romance. The characters interlace throughout, and are as always interesting and entertaining. Braddon's multi-layered plot has just the right amount of suspense to hold your interest to it's very satisfying ending. - Summary by Celine Major

Book cover Lady's Mile

If you drive through the Lady's Mile, the most fashionable district in London, you will see people whose most distinguished ambition was to be known in that circle. A novelist, a painter, and some aristocrats, willing to prove themselves to the world. But what happens behind closed doors? Is the Lady's Mile as respectable as it seems? - Summary by Stav Nisser.

Book cover One Thing Needful

Can starving children be grateful for the education they receive if, when they ask for food, rich people give them a stone? This is the question in the heart of this rich psychological novel. Lady Lashmore is a typical lady of her time, ruling every aspect of her household and constantly complaining that the poor people in the factory ten miles away bother her. Things change when her son, Lord Lashmore, falls in love with a poor woman. Only then does he understand what is the one thing they need most...

Book cover Vixen

This is an exquisite and heartbreaking love story. Violet Tempest and Roderick Vawdrey, otherwise known to each other as Vixen and Rorie, are childhood sweethearts. However, Rorie's family wants him to marry elsewhere. You may think it is the old story all over again, but nothing in this novel is what it seems. It is far too realistic for that. Many books talk about falling in love. This book starts after that stage, and speaks about the harder stage of a relationship: loving earnestly but understanding that love - even in the truest and purest sense - is not everything in life...

Book cover Strangers And Pilgrims

Strangers and Pilgrims follows the journey of Elizabeth Lutterell from a vain, beautiful and self-centred although good-hearted 19 year old to a mature woman. She begins her journey to maturity when she meets the Rev. Malcolm Forde, whose influence opens her eyes to the trivial and selfish ways of the wealthier levels of society. When her genuine love for Malcolm Forde is thwarted and she becomes trapped in a cold, loveless marriage of convenience, she suffers illness, tragedy and regret. Will she find ultimate happiness? A hugely prolific and popular author, M...

Book cover Eleanor's Victory

Only 15-years-old, Eleanor Vane is very happy with her lot: educated in an expensive finishing school in Paris, the apple of her father's eye, and disposed to be kind. Of course there are things missing: she does not remember her mother who died when she was young. But at least she has her father... Until he unexpectedly dies. Now Eleanor is at the mercy of her half-siblings who were never in touch with her, and the rest of the world who would consider her an orphaned beggar. Sent to work as a lady's companion to an old friend of her late father's, Eleanor might, just might, be able to win a respectable place in society...


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