Blog Posts - Mary Elizabeth Braddon



Be my (Victorian) Valentine?

Last February, I shared some inspiration for literary lines to use whatever your romantic situation on Valentine’s Day. And this year, I’m bringing you even more potential card-fillers (thank me later!). Can you name the novel for each line?The E...
by The Secret Victorianist on Feb 8, 2015

Emigration Quiz: The Secret Victorianist heads to America

Exciting news! In the next few weeks the Secret Victorianist will be packing her bags and heading off to a new life in New York! Expect plenty of posts dealing with American nineteenth-century fiction and send any recommendations my way by tweeting @...
by The Secret Victorianist on Sep 2, 2014

Review: The Black Robe, Wilkie Collins (1881)

Wilkie Collins’s 1881 The Black Robe tells the story of the misadventures of Lewis Romayne in a novel which deals with depression, madness, a fatal duel, marital breakdown, capture by South American ‘natives’, ill-motivated religious conversion...
by The Secret Victorianist on Jul 10, 2014

Review: Behind a Mask, Louisa May Alcott (A.M. Barnard), 1866

Louisa May AlcottFor many, Louisa May Alcott’s name is entirely synonymous with her semi-autobiographical Little Women (1868) – a novel which can in some ways be seen to epitomise clean cut nineteenth-century morality. Yet the stories Alcott publ...
by The Secret Victorianist on Dec 26, 2013

Have a Very Victorian Christmas: 19th-Century Party Games

‘For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.’ The scene Ebenezer Scrooge witnesses at his nephew Fred’s in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843), under the dir...
by The Secret Victorianist on Dec 11, 2013

Mary Elizabeth Braddon: The copy-cat

Mary Elizabeth Braddon byWilliam Powell FrithTHAT affair of Jim Simmons's cats never became known. Two little boys and a little girl can keep a secret—that is, sometimes. The two little boys had the advantage of the little girl because they cou...

Mary Elizabeth Braddon: The Hall Bedroom

MY name is Mrs. Elizabeth Jennings. I am a highly respectable woman. I may style myself a gentlewoman, for in my youth I enjoyed advantages. I was well brought up, and I graduated at a young ladies' seminary. I also married well. My husband was t...

Mary Elizabeth Braddon - feminist? The Secret Victorianist blogs for FWSA

Illustration for Joshua Haggard's Daughter (1876)I check out the feminist credentials of the sensational Mary Elizabeth Braddon over on the Feminist & Women's Studies Association blog!
by The Secret Victorianist on Nov 15, 2013

A Victorian Alphabet: F is for Fern-Fever (Pteridomania)

It may sound like a tropical disease but the word Pteridomania (coined by Charles Kingsley in 1855) describes the passion for ferns and tropical plants which took possession of many across the social spectrum in the nineteenth century. In fern-fever,...
by The Secret Victorianist on Oct 29, 2013

Review: John Marchmont’s Legacy, Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1863)

Cartoon of Braddon as a circus girl, The Mask (1868) In case my previous blog posts haven’t quite given you the impression that I’m something of a Braddon-fanatic, this review of top sensation fiction specimen John Marchmont’s Legacy (1863) s...
by The Secret Victorianist on Oct 16, 2013

Mary Elizabeth Braddon: The Shadow in the Corner

Wildheath Grange stood a little way back from the road, with a barren stretch of heath behind it, and a few tall fir-trees, with straggling wind-tossed heads, for its only shelter. It was a lonely house on a lonely road, little better than a lane, le...

Women in the Witness Box: Naomi

Over the past few weeks I've looked at a range of female characters who appear in fictional Victorian trials, considering novels and short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins. While I hope to come bac...
by The Secret Victorianist on Sep 7, 2013

Women in the Witness Box: Naomi

Over the past few weeks I've looked at a range of female characters who appear in fictional Victorian trials, considering novels and short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins. While I hope to come bac...
by The Secret Victorianist on Sep 7, 2013

Women in the Witness Box: Mrs Beauly

A nineteenth-century divorce courtMoving on from the transparent innocence of Mary Barton and Esther Lyon, and the deceitful doubleness of Braddon’s two heroines, Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady (1875) gives us yet another perspective on th...
by The Secret Victorianist on Sep 2, 2013

Women in the Witness Box: Mrs Beauly

A nineteenth-century divorce courtMoving on from the transparent innocence of Mary Barton and Esther Lyon, and the deceitful doubleness of Braddon’s two heroines, Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady (1875) gives us yet another perspective on th...
by The Secret Victorianist on Sep 2, 2013

Women in the Witness Box: Lady Audley and Phoebe

‘But Lady Audley doesn’t appear in court!’ I imagine quick-witted readers of M.E. Braddon’s 1862 novel Lady Audley’s Secret protesting. She doesn't. My consideration of female witnesses in fictional Victorian courts (introduced here) contin...
by The Secret Victorianist on Aug 28, 2013

Women in the Witness Box: Lady Audley and Phoebe

‘But Lady Audley doesn’t appear in court!’ I imagine quick-witted readers of M.E. Braddon’s 1862 novel Lady Audley’s Secret protesting. She doesn't. My consideration of female witnesses in fictional Victorian courts (introduced here) contin...
by The Secret Victorianist on Aug 28, 2013

Review: A Terrible Temptation, Charles Reade (1871)

Cartoon of Charles ReadeWarring cousins, mistresses, missing children, changelings and lunatic asylums could be a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of Charles Reade’s A Terrible Temptation (1871), a sensation novel which makes Lady Audley’s Secret loo...
by The Secret Victorianist on Aug 4, 2013

Review: A Terrible Temptation, Charles Reade (1871)

Cartoon of Charles ReadeWarring cousins, mistresses, missing children, changelings and lunatic asylums could be a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of Charles Reade’s A Terrible Temptation (1871), a sensation novel which makes Lady Audley’s Secret loo...
by The Secret Victorianist on Aug 4, 2013

Sister Act; or, Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage?

Nineteenth-century actress Helen FaucitIn his preface to Basil(1852), which I reviewed last month, Wilkie Collins writes the following about the relationship between novel writing and play writing:the Novel and the Play are twin-sisters in the f...
by The Secret Victorianist on Aug 2, 2013


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