Lady Audley's Secret
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.
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