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Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835–1915)

Författare till Lady Audley's Secret

129+ verk 4,372 medlemmar 145 recensioner 25 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, the daughter of a solicitor, was educated privately. As a young woman, she acted under an assumed name for three years in order to support herself and her mother. In 1860 she met John Maxwell, a publisher of periodicals, whose wife was in an asylum for the insane. Braddon visa mer acted as stepmother to Maxwell's five children and bore him five illegitimate children before the couple married, in 1874, when Maxwell's wife died. Braddon's most famous novel, Lady Audley's Secret (1862), was first published serially in Robin Goodfellow and The Sixpenny Magazine. One of the earliest sensationalist novels, it sold nearly one million copies during Braddon's lifetime. Its plot involves bigamy, the protagonist's desertion of her child, her murder of her first husband, and her thoughts of poisoning her second husband. The novel shocked and outraged her contemporary, Margaret Oliphant, who said Braddon had invented "the fair-haired demon of modern fiction." Throughout her long literary career, during which she wrote more than 80 novels and edited several magazines, Braddon was often excoriated for her penchant for sensationalizing violence, crime, and sexual indiscretion. Nevertheless, Braddon had many well-known devotees, among them William Makepeace Thackeray, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Braddon died in 1915. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

Verk av Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Braddon, M.E.
Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth
Andra namn
White, Babington
Richmond Cemetery, Richmond, England, UK
London, England, UK
Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Londen, England, Groot-Brittannië
Richmond, Surrey, England, Groot-Brittannië
privately educated
short story writer
Maxwell, W. B. (son)
Kort biografi
Mary Elizabeth Braddon was born in London and her parents separated when she was five years old. Mary worked as an actress to support herself and her mother. In 1860, she met John Maxwell, a publisher, and began living with him despite the fact that he was married with five children; his wife was in an asylum in Ireland. Mary acted as a stepmother to the children until 1874, when Maxwell's wife died and they were able to marry. They had six children together, including the future writer William Babington (W.B.) Maxwell. Mary was an extremely prolific writer, producing more than 80 novels and numerous short stories. In 1866, she founded Belgravia, a lavishly illustrated magazine that published serialized novels, poems, travel narratives, and essays on fashion, history and science.



June 2022: Mary Elizabeth Braddon i Monthly Author Reads (juni 2022)
June: Reading Mary Elizabeth Braddon i Monthly Author Reads (juni 2011)


OMG - where has Mary Elizabeth Braddon been all my life? She was a contemporary of Dickens, the precursor of Wilkie Collins, and (the foreward argues) instrumental in establishing the detective fiction genre - so you'd think her works would be more widely available. Alas, no - female writers of "sensational fiction" weren't taken seriously back in the 19th century and didn't fare much better in the 20th century, so her works (excepting her "Lady Audley's Secret") gradually passed out of print. Thank you, Modern Library, for bringing back this gem!

"The Trail of the Serpent" has everything you could want in a "sensational novel" of the Victorian era: foundlings, wastrels, prodigal sons, identical twins separated at birth, bigamy, greed, love, hate, secret marriages, murder, madness, depravity, alchemy, secret societies, abject poverty, egregious wealth, a mute detective (how's that for "woke"?), and practically every other melodramatic trope you can imagine, all tied together by the machinations of a gloriously clever, deliciously evil villain determined to do whatever it takes to rise from obscurity to the heights of European society.

Which could be a hot mess in the hands of a schlock, but make no mistake about it - Braddon can write! She's intelligent, witty, and a gifted storyteller. Yes, her plot is sensational, but it's also stuffed with biting social commentary, delicious satire/irony, and laugh-out-loud comedic set-pieces.

Kirkus Review calls this "exuberantly campy" and it's hard to improve on this as a two-word summary. But Trail of the Serpent isn't just fun; it marks an important transition from the sensational, serialized novels of the day to the more serious literary writing of Dickens and his ilk. So go ahead and read it for the fun, then boast about reading it for the literary cred!
… (mer)
Dorritt | 6 andra recensioner | Oct 16, 2023 |
Well. This is quite a long story for something that's pretty obvious upfront. I'm willing to accept that it could have been novel and exciting at the time, and I've just read too many mysteries. Still we spend a lot of time in the minds of men whose entire POV could be summed up as "Ladies! Am I right?"
Kiramke | 79 andra recensioner | Jun 27, 2023 |
i'd forgotten this novel but found this it in a pile and heard myself say, wow this one was bananas-fun.
1 rösta
alison-rose | 79 andra recensioner | May 22, 2023 |
Étrange destin que celui de la jeune Eleanor Vanes. Après des années d'enfance particulièrement heureuses passées dans la maison dé son père, elle ne supportera pas d'apprendre que celui-ci s'est suicidé. Elle a compris qu'un mystérieux individu était seul responsable de la mort de son aïeul et elle jure devant Dieu de le venger... Commence pour Eleanor, transformée en véritable détective amateur, une quête âpre et difficile qui s'accomplit en parallèle avec sa nouvelle vie. Elle est en effet devenue la dame de compagnie de Mrs Darrell dont le fils, Launcelet, ne reste pas indifférent aux charmes de la jeune fille. C'est alors que résonne comme un coup de cymbales, l'insupportable vérité : celui qu'Eleanor recherchait pour le punir n'est autre que... Face à une adversité apparemment insurmontable, la victoire d'Eleanor n'en sera que plus héroïque… (mer)
Dabs | Feb 23, 2023 |



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