Author(s): Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The novel was first published in 1862 in serial form. This production read by Juliet Stevenson marks the first audio release of one of Victorian England's most sensational reads. Dealing with bigamy, murder and madness it begs the question: can women and men ever really depend on one another, even within marriage...'
When young Lucy Graham marries Sir Michael Audley all seems well and good. Sir Michael is thoroughly devoted to his new bride and Lady Audley takes great pleasure in her privileged position at Audley Court. But Sir Michael's daughter Alicia is frustrated and uncomfortable with her stepmother's girlish ways.
Shortly afterwards, Sir Michael's nephew, the attractive but lazy barrister Robert Audley, welcomes back to England an old friend of his, George Talboys. The pair visit the Court for some sport, where George disappears in mysterious circumstances. Robert Audley is spurred into action, taking up the case with a newfound passion and energy. Like the best detective novels, and with some wonderful melodrama thrown in for good measure, the plot unravels at a pace until the truth is revealed about Lady Audley's Secret.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915) first burst onto the public scene at the age of eight when she played the role of 'Fairy Pineapple' in a pantomime. In a long career of overwhelming activity she edited magazines and wrote at least seventy-five novels, including such unrevived works as The Octoroon, Publicans and Sinners and Dead-Sea Fruit but also including the phenomenal Lady Audley's Secret which made her, at the age of twenty-seven, rich for life.