Mary Braddon
3 Stars
440 pages

a young woman, whose husband has run off to Australia to make his fortune, gives herself a new name and ends up marrying an old rich lord. The husband returns, Lady Audley kills him and her secret is safe. Except that her husband was good friends with the lord’s nephew, Robert. Robert investigates his friends disappearance and turns up all of Lady Audley’s secrets. She is put away in an insane asylum. In the end she dies a couple of years later and her husband, who she supposedly killed, turns out to be alive, and in Australia.

Written back in the 1860’s, I’m sure this was shocking stuff; bigamy, murder, etc, etc. Sadly, today, the social foundations that made this story shocking no longer exist and so the story descends into a mere murder mystery. I feel so jaded on society’s behalf.

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